What are Patents – an introduction

Inventions are a part of our everyday life. Look around you, the pen you are holding or the phone you are using or the coffee cup you use every-day in life are all Inventions. We almost could not have survived without these Inventions. They are necessary, inspiring and important to the society. Most of these were invented a thousand years ago to tackle a problem or to grab an opportunity for a new solution or to make life easy by inventing a device.

An Inventor is a person who invents, especially one who devises some new process, appliance, machine, or article; one who makes inventions.[1] Although inventing is closely associated with science and engineering, inventors are not necessarily engineers nor scientists.[2] A patent is granted for an invention but not all inventions can be patented.

A patent is a legal right granted by the government that allows its owner to prevent others from making, using, selling the invention without their permission. Patents are a part of Intellectual Property, which is a legal way to protect all creations of the human mind. A monopoly of a Patent granted to the patent holder gives us the Innovations which ultimately change, save and enrich our lives.

The system of patents was established to encourage inventors by granting limited-term, limited monopoly on inventions determined to be sufficiently novel, non-obvious, and useful.[3] The patent holder has a legal right to exclude others from commercially exploiting his invention for the duration of period generally twenty years from the date of filing the patent application.

After the said expiry term of the patent period anyone is free to use the invention which becomes a part of public domain without possibility of infringement. The protection of Intellectual property rights helps to protect and adds a crucial value in the success of a business.

Inventions shall further require some steps which are creative and which also involves some innovation. In other words, to be patentable, every invention must be new, non-obvious, and useful. In general inventions should satisfy these requirements. Novelty; Inventive Step or Non-Obviousness; Industrial Application or Utility; Written Description and Enablement.[4]

The Indian Patent Act, 1970 also states that the owner of a patent shall get certain remedies on infringement of his patent. If the infringement is proved before the court of law, an injunction can be granted to permanently prohibit the infringer from continuing with the act of infringement of the patent. Besides the Court may also award damages for the losses suffered. Further, accounts of profits can be awarded which compels the wrong doer to deposit the money he made or the profit he earned through infringing the patent in question along with details of accounts.

Over the past fifteen years, intellectual property rights have grown to a stature from where it plays a major role in the development of global economy. In 1990s, many countries unilaterally strengthened their laws and regulations in this area, and many others were poised to do likewise. At the multilateral level, the successful conclusion of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in the World Trade Organization elevates the protection and enforcement of IPRs to the level of solemn international commitment. It is strongly felt that under the global competitive environment, stronger IPR protection increases incentives for innovation and raises returns to international technology transfer.[5] To conclude Intellectual Property Law has evolved over the century by promoting and rewarding the efforts and skills of various Inventors.

[1] https://www.dictionary.com/browse/inventor

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention

[4] Sreenivasulu Law textbook

[5] https://www.icsi.edu/media/website/IntellectualPropertyRightLaws&Practice.pdf

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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