Patent Law In India – Everything You Need to Know

by  Adv. Priyanka Sampathy  




4 mins


Patent Law


  • The Patent Law gives the creator an exclusive right granted by the Government to prevent others from using, producing, and selling the invention for a set amount of time. Additionally, patent law allows for enhancements to their prior invention. 
  • The major goal of patent law is to motivate inventors to make greater contributions to their fields by giving them exclusive rights over their innovations. 
  • Modern terminology often refers to the patent law as the right given to an inventor for his invention of any novel, practical, non-obvious procedure, machine, manufactured goods, or material composition. 
  • The Latin word “patere,” which means “to lay open” or “to make available for public examination,” is where the word “Patent Law” first appeared.

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Any innovation must pass three requirements to be patentable under Patent Law

  • First and foremost, the innovation must be original, which implies that it cannot already be used.
  • Second, the invention must not be apparent, which means that it must significantly improve on the prior invention; a simple shift in technique will not grant the inventor the right to a patent.
  • Thirdly, innovation must be beneficial in a bona fide way, which requires that it be employed in lawful activities and benefit society as a whole.

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What is patentable under Patent Law?

The exclusions on what can be patented in India were explicitly stated in Sections 3 and 4 of the Patents Act, 1970. To secure a patent in India, several requirements must be met under the Patent Law. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Inventive topic:
  • The most crucial factor is identifying whether the invention corresponds to a patentable subject matter. The Patent Law lists non-patentable subject matter in Sections 3 and 4. The invention is a topic for a patent unless it falls under one of the provisions of Sections 3 or 4 of the Patent Law. 
  • Innovation is a crucial factor in assessing an invention’s possibility of patent protection. As stated in Section 2 (l) of the Patent Law, innovation or a new invention has not been “published in any document before the date of filing of a patent application, wherever in the nation or the globe.”
  • To put it plainly, the novelty criterion essentially implies that an invention should never have been made public. It must be the most recent, with no identical or comparable past works under the Patent Law.
  1. Inventive steps or non-clarity:
  • Section 2(JA) of the Patent Law defines an inventive step, which is defined as “the characteristic of an invention that involves technological advancement or is of economic importance or both, as compared to existing knowledge, and invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art, states that it must also be “clear to a person having ordinary skill in the art.” 
  • This means that innovation must not be evident to a person who has ordinary ability in the relevant field. It shouldn’t be original and evident to someone with similar expertise.
  1. Capable of industrial application:
  • Industrial applicability is described as “the invention is capable of being manufactured or employed in an industry” under Section 2(ac) of the Patent Law. 
  • In essence, this indicates that the invention cannot exist in an idealized state. It must have universal applicability, which implies that it has practical value in terms of patents.
  • These requirements for patenting an invention are set down by law. Publishing a competent patent is another crucial requirement for acquiring a patent. 
  • A competent patent disclosure entails that the invention must be sufficiently disclosed in a patent draft as per Patent Law specifications for a person with the requisite expertise to implement the invention without excessive difficulty.

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Unlock the Power of Patents in India: Talk to our Experts

Rights of Patentee under Patent Law

  • Exclusive Right: Patentee has the exclusive right to use, exercise, sell, and distribute the patented product in India or, if the patent is for a person, to use or exercise the technique or process under the Patent Law.
  • Right to give licenses: The Patentee has the authority to grant licenses, transfer rights, or make other arrangements in exchange for money.
  • Right to surrender: Patentees have the right to surrender their patents, but before doing so, notification of the surrender must be provided to anybody listed as having an interest in the patent in the register. Any objections must be taken into account with the help of a business lawyer.
  • Right to file a lawsuit for patent infringement: The Patentee has the right to file a lawsuit for patent infringement in a district court with jurisdiction to hear the case with the legal advice of a business lawyer. 

People Also Read: What is not considered an invention as per the Patent Provisions?

Patentee’s Obligations under the Patent Law

  • Patents used by the Government: It should be noted that the Government may employ or even purchase a patented innovation for its exclusive use and that it may also restrict or forbid the use of the patent in certain situations.
  • Forced licenses: The Controller may give compulsory licenses to any applicant to work the patent if it is not worked satisfactorily to fulfil the reasonable requirements of the public at a reasonable price.
  • Patent revocation: A patent may be revoked if there has been no work done or if the public’s demand for the patented innovation has not been met.
  • Patents for inventions used for defence may be subject to confidentiality requirements, such as restrictions on or outright prohibitions on the invention’s dissemination at the Controller’s discretion.
  • Patents that have been restored: If a patent has expired, it may be done so as long as the Patentee’s rights are not severely restricted. The patent does not have the right to pursue infringement claims where the infringement occurred between the dates of the infringement and the announcement of the reinstatement application.

Maximize Your Business Potential in India: Seek Patent Law Guidance from Our Experts


The key characteristics of an invention, as defined by the Patent Law, were novelty, utility, and method of manufacturing. Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents are the three different sorts of patents. Utility patents safeguard the composition, machine, or process functionality. One must take legal advice to get the patent registered. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is Patent Law?

Ans1. Patent Law grants inventors exclusive rights to their inventions for a set period, encouraging innovation.

Q2. What are the requirements for patenting an invention in India?

Ans2. An invention must be novel, non-obvious (inventive step), and industrially applicable.

Q3. What cannot be patented in India?

Ans3. Sections 3 & 4 of the Patents Act, 1970 exclude discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, and plants/animals (except microorganisms).

Q4. What is the “novelty” requirement in Patent Law?

Ans4. The invention cannot have been publicly disclosed before filing the patent application.

Q5. What does “inventive step” (non-obviousness) mean?

Ans5. The invention should not be obvious to someone with ordinary skills in the relevant field.

Q6. What is “industrial applicability” in Patent Law?

Ans6. The invention must have a practical use and be capable of being manufactured or used in an industry.

Q7. What are the rights of a patent holder (Patentee)?

Ans7. Rights include exclusive use, sale, licensing, and suing for infringement.

Q8. What are the obligations of a patent holder?

Ans8. The government may use the invention for public benefit, and compulsory licenses may be issued.

Q9. When can a patent be revoked?

Ans9. A patent can be revoked if not used or if public demand for the invention is not met.

Q10. What are the different types of patents in India?

Ans10. The three main types are utility patents (functionality), design patents (appearance), and plant patents (new varieties of plants).

Theft of Intellectual Property rights is very common in today’s time. Therefore, it is recommended to get your patent registered as soon as possible with the help of a professional legal expert.

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy


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Priyanka Sampathy is a legal consultant who prioritises ethical and professional conduct while striving to achieve desired outcomes. With over 15 years of independent practice, she has significant expertise in handling legal cases. Her exceptional communication skills enable her to express arguments in a clear and persuasive manner, both in writing and verbally, in Hindi, English, and Telugu.

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