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Overview of “Patent”

The term “Patent” is considered to be one of the pillars or categories of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) in India.  Patent is a kind of right granted by the government of India to the inventor on his or her invention. Further, the term “right” includes the authority to make, sell, use, and import of the product or process and restricts others from doing the same.

Patent Law in India is governed and regulated by the Patent Act 1970 and Patent Rules 1972. Any patent once granted to an inventor in India remains valid for a time period of 20 years.

Moreover, the application for Patent Registration is managed by the Patent Office, Controller General of the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks in India.

Indian Patent Search System

InPASS or better known as The Indian Patent Advanced Search System was introduced for the first time in India on 27th of February 2015. However, prior to InPASS, the patent search system in India was conducted by the IPAIRS which stands for Indian Patent Information Retrieval System.

The Indian Patent Advanced Search System (InPASS) is an updated version of IPAIRS. This version allows for a full-text search of all the Indian patents along with all the Patent Applications.

Moreover, InPASS also allows an individual to conduct a patent search using Wild Cards or even by using Boolean Operators. Thus, we can say that InPASS is the Indian patent office database which is used to conduct an advanced patent search in India.

Conducting a patent search in India is deemed to be an indispensable act before filing of the patent application. Thus, it is important for an applicant to know and understand in detail about the process which is to be conducted for patent search system in India.

Meaning of Patent Search

In India, the term “Patent Search” denotes a search of already published patent applications along with the issued patents. Thus, Patent Search is a type of a step which is taken by the applicant before applying for a Patent Registration in India.

However it can be stated that a Patent Search provides “Prior Art” references to the Inventor regarding its invention. The term “Prior Art” means anything which is available for the applicant on a Public Domain, whether the information available is patented or not.

Therefore, it can be concluded that the process of Patent Search is beneficial for the inventor as it helps to check the novelty of his or her invention before applying the same for Patent Registration.

Time Period

Once a patent is registered to an inventor it grants ownership for a period of 20 years to that specific inventor.

Patent Search

Benefits of Patent Search in India

The benefits of conducting a Patent Search in India are mentioned below:

  • An applicant before applying for patent registration in India has to conduct a detailed patent search for checking the availability of his invention.
  • Patentability of any particular invention mainly aims at estimating the scope of patent protection which will be provided by the patent office.
  • In order to conduct a patent search in India a professional must be appointed so that better results can be granted to the applicant of the invention. The protection of any specific Patent largely depends upon the results of the patent search.
  • However, in case if an applicant finds prior arts which are similar to his invention, the scope of protection granted for a specific patent would be limited.
  • The main aim for patent search engine is to expose most of the similar inventions. Thus, the benefit of a patent search lies in the uniqueness of the invention.
  • The patent search engine result also helps an applicant in knowing and forming a basis of the cost expenditure that he or she is about to invest in his invention.
  • These patent search results also benefits any patent attorney who is drafting patent application thus, keeping in mind any prior arts.
  • Thus, this further helps the patent attorney to easily distinguish between the similar inventions which are applied for patent registration. This further increases the scope of obtaining patent protection.
  • Patent search in India can be considered as the “foundation pillar” of the complete patent processes.
  • Any specific patent search may seem to cost money but it is worth spending as it ensures regarding the protection of patent.
  • Patent search shall be initiated by using unique keywords in order to get better results.

Inventions which can be Patented in India

Following are some of the inventions which can be patented or can be applied for Patent Registration in India:

  • Any specific or particular art or process or method or any specific manner of manufacture can be applied by an applicant for Patent Registration.
  • Either machine or apparatus or any other articles related to the same can be applied for registration by the applicant.
  • Such substances which are produced by manufacturing can be applied for Patent Registration.
  • All kinds of Computer software along with technical application to industry or used with Hardware, and
  • Such product or items in relation to food, chemicals, medicines, or drugs can be applied for the registration of Patent.

Why A Patent Search Necessary?

  • Every single year, there are hundreds and thousands of patent applications which are being applied by patent authorities in order to get it patented.
  • However, it can be seen clearly that not all applications are approved by these authorities because of the reason that there are other similar inventions or applications or steps involved in the invention, and hence not innovative.

Illustration

In India, various pharmaceutical companies file application for patents every year whenever their research and development team invents either any new product or even the ‘steps’ involved  to formulate or derive any particular active ingredient in the composition of a specific drug. However, most of the times these drugs are not deemed to be innovative and thus the innovation is not registered under Patent Act.

Thus, it can be stated that an applicant should not waste time on the patent process; rather it is best to find out the same through Patent Search in case of any similar inventions or applications already patented.

Documents Required for Patent Application in India

Following set of documents are required by an applicant in order to file for Patent Registration in India:

  • Complete specification must be entered in the application by the applicant in English,
  • Drawing or diagrams explaining the invention to be patented,
  • Name and address along with the nationality of inventors,
  • Name and address along with the nationality of applicants must be filed,
  • Power of Attorney
  • In case, if the inventors are not he applicants the Assignment Deed or Application Form endorsed by the inventor must be submitted,
  • Complete details of supporting applications filed in other countries
  • A thoroughly verified English translation of the priority application is required in case of convention applications.
  • A complete Verified English translation of the PCT applications are required only for national phase applications. Patent Agents can verify the same translation of PCT application on behalf of the applicant.
  • A Certified copy of the priority application is to be submitted in case if the Controller asks for the same,
  • Listing of sequence in computer-readable text format to be submitted. However, no print form is required to be submitted for the registration of Patent.

Further, permission must be taken from National Biodiversity Authority if in case any Biological materials are used in the invention.

Procedure for Patent Search in India

Granted Patents or Published Patents or even both can be searched by using the “Patent Search” tab. There are two check boxes available which would allow an applicant to search for the required patent.

Parameters

After selecting that the applicant can search for patents or even applications published based on any of the following search parameters:

  • Date of Application
  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Claims to be made
  • Description can be entered
  • Application Number should be entered for the application to be registered
  • In case of granted patent, Patent Number must be entered.
  • Applicant’s Name
  • Name of the Inventor
  • Inventor’s Country Name
  • Detail Address of the inventor
  • Filing Office where application is to be filed
  • International Patent Classification (IPC)
  • In case of National Phase Application, PCT Application number shall be entered,
  • PCT Publication number shall be entered,           
  • Field of Invention for which invention to be made shall be explained
  • Patent Assignee Country should also be entered.

Steps Involved

Any patent search in India can be done in following ways:

Keyword Search

  • Collect the relevant keywords in respect to your invention or patent.
  • The keyword search for a patent can only be used in the search parameters such as title, abstract, claims, and description.
  • The patent search can not only be performed by using the keywords but can also be done with the help of “Boolean Operators” or “Wild Cards”.
  • Further, the patent search results will be shown in two columns.
  • The application number or the patent number, title, application date and status will be displayed on the left column.
  • However, on the basis of the selection of a row in the left column, details such as Bibliographic Data or Specification along with the Status of the patent application or the patent already been granted will be displayed in the right column.
  • Further, there is a limitation set on the number of search records which extends up to 1000 and 25 records per page.

Name Search of an Applicant

  • Patent applications or Granted Patents can be searched on the Indian Patent Search Database by entering the name of the applicant against the relevant row.
  • This is one the easiest search. It can done just by entering the Applicant's name and click on search icon.
  • The result will be displayed by showing the title of all the inventions published or granted till date in the name that an applicant has entered.

Inventor’s Name Search

  • The inventor’s name can be searched by using the same process used for the search of an applicant’s name by entering the details in the relevant row.
  • Once the details have been entered by the inventor the result will be displayed on the relevant row.
  • In order to retrieve the results based on your requirements various search queries can be performed in addition to the above searches made.
  • The applicant can further also read the guidance laid down in 'Help' provided that the applicant wants to know more about how to use Boolean operators and Wild cards. 

E-registration of Patent

  • The legal status of the granted patent can be searched on the database of the Indian Patent Search.
  • This can be achieved by entering the patent number along with the displayed code on the “Patent E-Register” Further the applicant needs to click on the Show E-register in order to display the result.
  • The result regarding the legal status of the patent will be displayed along with the next renewal date, and Bibliographic data of the specified patent.

Application Status of the Patent

  • The Indian Patent Search database allows an applicant to check the status of the patent application in the same way as that of the patent grant search.
  • Enter the application number along with the displayed code in the ‘Application Status’ tab and then click on 'Show Application Status'.
  • At the end the result will be displayed showing the details of the application such as application number, applicant’s number, date of filing, priority date, along with the title of the invention and publication date and also the application status.
  • Besides, the applicant will be able to view all the relevant documents in relation to the patent application in the 'View Documents' tab which is provided at the bottom page of result.

Latest Updates Regarding Patent Search

Facebook Gets India Patent for Invention on 5th March 2020

Facebook has recently been granted the India patent for any specific invention to give universal support to cell phones. This will help boost Facebook’s efforts to support the vast variety of mobile phones even without compromising with the service quality. This patent was received by Facebook from the IPO, Chennai on 3rd March this year.

Osmania University Launches Patent Search Facility on 3rd March 2020

The Osmania University situated in Secunderabad has launched a patent search facility named ‘Total Patient One’ for researchers and teachers. This patent search facility will help the researchers as well as teachers to spread awareness regarding Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). It will also help in better coordination with the various regulatory bodies and research institutions in India.

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