Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Safeguards in Patent System


The Indian Patent Office has a robust system of safeguards against abuse of patent rights in India.

All patent applications are maintained in the strictest confidence until they are published.

Pre-grant representation:

Any person may oppose the grant of patent after the publication of application for patent but before the grant of patent.

Post-grant opposition:

Any person interested may oppose the grant of patent at any time after the grant of patent but before the expiry of one year from the date of publication of grant of patent.

Working of patents:

Patents are granted for the purpose of exploitation, which will enhance industrial development and therefore should be worked to their fullest extent within the territory of India. The owner of patent should furnish the details of working of the invention every six months and whenever required by the Patent Office.

A patent can be revoked for non-working.

Compulsory licensing:

Under Indian Law, any person interested may make an application for grant of Compulsory licence after 3 years from the date of the grant of the patent. A compulsory license can only be granted:
a. if the reasonable requirements of the public have not been satisfied;
b. if the patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonable price;
c. if the patented invention is not worked in the territory of India.

In the case of a national emergency or extreme urgency for the purpose of preventing major diseases like AIDS, Tuberculosis, malaria or other epidemics, the Controller can permit compulsory licensing irrespective of the above three conditions.

Use of inventions by the Government.

Anytime after the filing or grant of patent, the Government or any person
by it can use the patented invention in public interest.

If necessary, the Central Government can acquire an invention from the applicant or patentee for a public purpose, by publishing a notification to that effect in the Official Gazette.

Revocation of patents related to Atomic energy.

If the Central Government is convinced that a patent falls under Section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, under which patents cannot be granted for certain inventions, the patent may be amended or revoked as the case may be.

Revocation of patent in public interest.

If a patent or the method in which it is used is deemed by the Central Government to be mischievous to the State or generally against public interest, such a patent may be revoked.

No comments: