According to the India Patents report launched by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Technology Innovation is gaining pace in India with Indian companies having filed 1,38,000 tech patents in India from 2015 to 2021.


What are patents?

  • A patent represents a powerful intellectual property right, and is an exclusive monopoly granted by a Government to an inventor for a limited, pre-specified time.
  • It provides an enforceable legal right to prevent others from copying the invention.
  • Patents can be of two types –
      • A product patent ensures that the rights to the final product is protected, and anyone other than the patent holder can be restrained from manufacturing it during a specified period.
      • A process patent enables any person other than the patent holder to manufacture the patented product by modifying certain processes in the manufacturing exercise.


About Patents Act, 1970

  • The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force in April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911.
  • The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar.
  • Later, India became signatory of the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1998 and thereafter signed the Budapest Treaty in 2001.
      • The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, was one of the first intellectual property treaties. It applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition.
      • The Budapest Treaty eliminates the need to deposit microorganisms in each country where patent protection is sought.
  • The Act was amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, wherein product patent was extended to all fields of technology including food, drugs, chemicals and microorganisms.
  • After the amendment, the provisions relating to Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) have been repealed, and a provision for enabling grant of compulsory license has been introduced.
  • The provisions relating to pre-grant and post-grant opposition have also been introduced.


Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade notified the Patents (Amendments) Rules 2021 which have come into force in September 2021.
  • Changes –
      • Broadening the category of Applicants – The definition of educational institutions has been introduced under the Patent Amendment. The Patent Amendment includes educational institution along with natural person, start-up and small entity in the category of applicants.
      • Rebate on Patent Filing Fees – It has extended the 80% rebate on patent filing fees to educational institutions. This should encourage educational institutions to file for more patents to foster innovation and facilitate the commercialisation of new technologies.
      • Extension of Expedited Examination System – The fastest granted patent is the one which was granted in 41 days after filing of such request. This facility of Expedited Examination system was initially provided for patent applications filed by. It has been now extended to 8 more categories of Patent Applicants