A patent is an exclusive privilege given to the author by the State to prohibit anyone from utilizing, creating, and selling an invention for a specified duration of time. It applies to a monopoly right on an invention. However, not all inventions are patentable and nor is it essential that inventions be protected solely by patent. Other forms of intellectual property rights can protect the final product which results from an invention.
The primary objective for enacting patent law is to encourage inventors to make a greater contribution to their field by granting them exclusive rights to their inventions. In India, an innovation referring to a new product or procedure that involves the inventive phase and is capable of industrial use can be patented. Nonetheless, this does not, therefore, come under the scope of innovations which are non-patentable as provided for in sections 3 and 4 of the (Indian) Patents Act 1970. A patent application can be filed, either alone or jointly, by true and first inventor or his assignee.
The patent is a monopoly right given to inventor in exchange for the disclosure of his invention, for the limited period. The definition itself states the main objectives of the Patent System. The definition can be divided into three parts, namely:
- Monopoly rights
- In return for disclosure
- Limited Period
- The patent is given to inventor so that no other person can use/make/sell his invention.
- The right is given because the inventor is disclosing his work, the work for which he has put efforts.
- The rights are given for limited period so that the inventor does not enjoy unlimited rights over his inventions and the invention is available to the public.
The core objective of the patent law is to promote the progress of Science and useful arts. It can be listed as:
- To encourage inventor: If a person puts efforts and resources in invention something that can be patented, he should have a provision that stops others from copying his work without his permission. If it happens he would get motivated to research further.
- To protect Inventors’ interest: By protecting inventions the Law also protects the goodwill and financial gains of the inventor. For e.g. if Patents are not provided anyone can copy the formula of drugs and can sell it at cheaper rates. This will affect the goodwill of the inventor in case the drug does not work, and the inventor will also lose his market that will result in financial loss.
- Encourage Research and Development: If an inventor gets recognition for his work and at the same time his work is protected also, he may get motivated for further research. This will also motivate others to go in the field of research. All this will finally result in the technical and financial growth of the society.
- To ensure Fair Trade practices: By providing protection and monopoly rights the law indirectly stimulates fair trade practices. If a businessman knows that he will be facing legal action for copying others’ process or product, he may not try to do so. This will help in controlling unfair competition.