Obtaining private rights over an innovation or a procedure is possible by registering it as a patent. The entire process is overseen by the ‘Controller General of Patents’, ‘Designs & Trade Marks’ at ‘The Patent Office’. The application for registration is checked with the patent registered for a period of 20 years only if the application is in compliance with the 'Patents Act', of 1970 and follows the regulations included within 'The Patents Rules 1972'. It is considered to be a part of Intellectual Property along with Trademarks & Copyrights.
A patent is granted by way of legal document that protects an invention with the inventor being able to enjoy special rights related to his invention that includes the right to create, make use of, sell or donate his creation for a fixed number of years in accordance with the 'Patents Act' introduced in 1970.
A patent can also be registered for improvement of a previously patented discovery. The registration not only forbids the imitators from using it themselves but also prevent independent inventors to make and use similar inventions even when they are derived from sources that are not connected to a registered invention. Since the protection sets a rigid barrier for various companies operating within the same industry to compete with each other effectively, the 'The Patents Rules 1972' make it clear that all inventions cannot be patented until they confirm with certain regulations and are judged to be patentable.
To be considered eligible to be patented, an invention must meet the following criteria:-
It must be totally new.
It must be seen as an improved version over an existing technology bearing enough differences that can make it stand alone with the similarity, if any not being obvious enough to be considered as a modified version of an old patented invention.
The invention needs to be useful and can be beneficial for individuals or companies. However, a majority of legal professionals dealing with patent disputes and registration explain this condition as not being used for illegal or immoral purposes.
A patent registered in India remains valid for a period of 20 years beginning from the date of filing the application. It validity remains unchanged irrespective of it being a provisional or permanent patent.