Guide to Understanding the Difference between a Process Patent and a Product Patent

by  Adv. Abhijeet Sawant  

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10 mins

  

Process vs. Product Patents: Unveiling the Right Path for Your Invention

If you have recently developed an invention but are not sure for which type of Patent you should opt then don’t worry we are here to provide you the right guidance in understanding the difference between a Product Patent and a Process Patent. Let’s learn firstly about these in detail. 

Introduction to Patent

A Patent is an Intellectual Property Right which is the sole property of the inventor that needs to be protected from being infringed and this is the role of a Patent comes into question. A Patent is a legal document that the Indian Patent Officer issues for an invention by the inventor. A patent protects the inventor for 20 years. 

Determining whether your invention falls under a process or product category can be tricky. Our patent specialists can analyze your invention and advise

What are the Principles that a Patent is required to fulfil?

An inventor of the invention is required to follow the below-mentioned Principles of Patent and these are as:

  • Novelty: The inventor is required to develop such kind of invention that is unique in itself and has not been created by anyone to date.
  • Inventive Step: The invention should be required to be of a nature as a person/craftsman of the industry has not thought of it to date.
  • Industrial Application: The invention should have some industrial application. In simple words, the invention shall required to prove useful for the industry. 

These are the principles that are required by an inventor to fulfil to register their Patent. 

Objectives of the Patent 

  • Developments in the industry boost others also to develop and research more in the industry.
  • Patent-related information can be brought to the notice of the general public by the inventor instead of keeping it as a Trade Secret. 
  • Apart from the individual boosting registration of the Patent also gives the morale to the business to develop and work more upon the product to scale their business. 
  • Development of the Patent gives various kinds of incentives meanwhile to the investor until the time the Patent starts to earn full-fledged. 

Advantages of registering a Patent 

Registration of the Patent offers various kinds of advantages to the investors which in turn gives the inventors an edge to develop and work more upon developing and researching for new products and services. The advantages run as:

  • A Patent gives economic flexibility to the inventor as the inventor can sell the Patent and earn a good amount of royalty on it.
  • Patent gives the right protection to the investors against infringement of the Patent.
  • A Patent allows the inventor to invest and research more in the technology. 
  • Patent protects for 20 years which is a long time. 

Disadvantages of Patent 

  • A patent is not an economical option for a normal person. It is a costlier process.
  • Patents are only applicable in the country of their registration/origin.
  • Misuse of the information can be done as the inventor is required to reveal a lot of information relating to the Patent. 
  • Yearly renewal of the Patents is required to be paid by the inventor which does not seem to be an economical option. 

Introduction to Product Patent

As the name implies a Product Patent is a patent that has been granted for the development of a product. With a Product Patent, a monopoly is created in the market which thereby maximizes the market space of the inventor of the product by reducing the market competition. A Product Patent is also valid for a term of 20 years. 

Advantages of a Product Patent 

There are some features of a Product Patent that make it unique in itself and with these benefits, an inventor can optimize the use of the Product in the best possible manner. These are as:

  • Monopoly: A Product Patent provides monopoly rights over the market as no one in the industry has this kind of product to offer. 
  • Prevention: With the help of a Product Patent it prevents others from using the same product as that of an inventor in the industry.
  • Protection Level: A Product Patent offers a higher level of protection as the end product is protected in the case of a Product Patent rather than a Process Patent where only a part of the Process of the Product is getting Patented. 

Disadvantages of a Product Patent 

As every coin has two sides so does a Product Patent has some side-effects apart from its various disadvantages and these are as:

  • Expensive: As the owner of the Product Patent enjoys a monopoly over its products sometimes the prices set for the products are on a higher end. 
  • Losing Customers: This point is the extension from the above point that there is a possibility that customers will switch to a different business because of the high prices of the monopoly business. 
  • Inflation: As the model of Product Patents is used by the developed nations and in a Product Patent monopoly rights are enjoyed by the Product Patent organizations which in turn may lead to inflation.

Process Patent

As the name implies a Process Patent is a Patent that is granted for the process used in the manufacturing of a product. The fine line of the difference between them arises is that in the case of a Product Patent, the end product is getting Patented and in the case of a Process Patent the process of manufacturing the Patent is getting Patented only. 

Advantages of Process Patent 

There are a plethora of advantages of a Process Patent that make a valuable in the eyes of the Inventors. 

  • Process Specific: A Process Patent allows the inventor to Patent the process with the help of which a Product has been manufactured. 
  • Tool for Development: Process Patents are widely used by developing nations as the Process Patents help in the growth and development of the economy. 

Process patents and product patents offer different scopes of protection. Our team can assess your invention and recommend the patent type that offers the most comprehensive protection for your intellectual property

Disadvantages of a Process Patent 

  • Infringement: As in the case of the Process Patents only the Process is saved from infringement so there will be chances of getting the process along with the products infringed. 
  • Easily Approachable: With the Process Patents any person may develop a product using a similar technology as that saved by the Process Patent and can bring a better version.
  • Many Process: In continuation of the easily approachable thing, a product can have as many an unlimited process, which will also infringe the Process Patents. 

Difference between Product Patents and Process Patents

Product Patents Process Patents
Product Patents are granted to the End Results of the inventions Process Patents are granted only to the process of the Patent and not to the End products. 
The legislation related to the Product Patents was granted by the Patents (Amendment) Act, of 2005The legislation related to the Process Patents was in the Indian Patent Act, of 1970. 
After the grant of the Product Patent, there will be less competition in the marketThe chances of competition and competitors remain higher in the case of Process Patents
The investors enjoy a high level of monopoly in the market in the cases of Product PatentsAs such no kind of monopoly is enjoyed by the investors even the investors have to face a lot of competition as anyone can curate the products using a similar Process
The best example is that in the case of a Product Patent, an altered DNA will be granted the Patent In the case of the Process Patent, only the process that has led to the altered DNA will be granted a Patent. 

The Global debate around Process Patents and Product Patent 

Initially, there was a lot of debate among the developed and the developing nations around the Product Patent and Process Patent. Developed countries have been the advocates of Product Patents and Developing nations have been the advocates of Process Patents. India as a developing nation sorted this turmoil at that time when India became a party to the TRIPS Agreement and made amendments to Sections 2 and 3 of the Indian Patent Act, 1970. Now the Indian laws give equal importance and recognition to Process and Product-based Patents.

World Trade Organisation stands on different types of Patents.

WTO with the help of the TRIPS Agreement has recognised the need of the hour to protect the intellectual property that has come from the intangible assets. TRIPS Agreement of the WTO has emphasized the Product Patent regime rather than focusing only on the Process Patents as the Product Patents create a monopoly over the market. 

Conclusion 

Product Patent and the Process Patent are the backbone of an invention the degree of its authenticity depends upon the type of the invention. Both types of Patents offer the same level of facilities to the inventor however the product Patents offer more reliability and flexibility to the investors. 

A well-crafted patent application is critical for securing successful registration. Our experienced patent attorneys can draft a compelling application that clearly defines your invention and its unique features.

Frequently Asked Questions on Process Patent Vs Product Patent 

Q1. What is a Process Patent?

Ans1. A Process Patent is granted to a process used in manufacturing a product. 

Q2. What is a Product Patent?

Ans2. This Patent is granted for a product invented by the inventor. 

Q3. How long does a Process Patent last?

Ans3. A Process Patent lasts for 20 years from the date of its issuance. 

Q4. Do Patents expire?

Ans4. Patents are valid for 20 years and will expire after the completion of the 20 years from the date of the issuance. 

Q5. Who grants a Patent?

Ans5. The Indian Patent Officer grants a Patent. 

Q6. Can I buy a Patent?

Ans6. Yes, any person may buy a Patent by paying the relevant amount of it.

Q7. What is Patent eligibility?

Ans7. A Patent is required to be novel, an inventive step has been taken with the industrial application. 

Q8. Who owns a Patent after Death?

Ans8. The Legal Heirs of the Patent owner hold the Patent after their death

Q9. Why do we Patent a Product?

Ans9. A Product is patented to provide the IPR rights to the inventors so that no manufacturer can develop the same kind of product. 

Q10. What are the three types of Patents?

Ans10. The three types of Patent are Utility, Plant, and Design. 

The patent registration process can be complex and involve strict procedures. Our patent professionals can navigate the intricacies of the Patent Office on your behalf, ensuring a smooth and efficient application process.

Adv. Abhijeet Sawant

Adv. Abhijeet Sawant

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Abhijeet Sawant is an advocate who has been offering ethical and professional legal consultancy and advisory services with a focus on achieving desired outcomes. With 7 years of independent practice, He possesses significant expertise in handling legal cases. Abhijeet completed his degree from the University of Mumbai and has been practising law independently ever since.

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