Patents

Patent Searches | Patent Filing | Patent Litigations

Patents

About Patent

What is a patent?

Patent is a certificate which gives an exclusive right for an invention which includes a new technical solution to a problem in the form of a process, product, apparatus, machine, composition, system etc.

Conditions that must be met to obtain a patent:

1.    The invention must show an element of novelty, that is, some new characteristic which is not known in the body of existing knowledge or 'prior art' in its technical field.

2.    The invention must involve an “inventive step” or “non-obvious"; Inventive step means a feature of an invention that involves technical advance as compared to the existing knowledge or having economic significance or both and that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

3.    The invention must be capable of industrial application, meaning that it must be capable of being used for an industrial or business purpose beyond a mere theoretical  phenomenon or be useful.

4.    New Invention subject matter must be accepted as “patentable” under the law. In many countries, scientific theories, aesthetic creations, mathematical methods, plant or animal varieties, discoveries of natural substances, commercial methods, methods for medical treatment (as opposed to medical products) or computer programs are generally not patentable.

What can be patented?

a) An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well.

b) “An invention the primary or intended use or commercial exploitation of which could be contrary public order or morality or which causes serious prejudice to human, animal or plant life or health or to the environment.

c) the mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory or discovery of any living thing or non-living substance occurring in nature.

(d) the mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance or the mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or of the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product or employs at least one new reactant.

(e) A substance obtained by a mere admixture resulting only in the aggregation of the properties of the components thereof or a process for producing such substance.

(f) The mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning independently of one another in a known way.

(h) A method of agriculture or horticulture.

(i) Any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic, diagnostic therapeutic or other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals to render them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products.

(j) Plants and animals in whole or any part thereof other than microorganisms but including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals.

(k) A mathematical or business method or a computer program per se or algorithms are not patentable.

(l) A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever including cinematographic works and television productions.

(m) Schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games

(n) A presentation of information

(o) Topography of integrated circuits:

(p) An invention which in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components.

Not patentable invention:

"No Patent shall be granted in respect of an invention relating to atomic energy falling within subsection (1) of section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962)”.

Types of patent searches

1. State of the Art Search/ patent landscape search:
This type of search is being done to know about the literature related to a specific industry.

This type of search is being done to identify novelty and inventive steps. This search is being done during the ideation phase, or before making invention disclosure.

2. Patentability Search/ Novelty Search:
This type of search is being done to identify novelty and inventive steps. This search is being done during the ideation phase, or before making invention disclosure.

3. Freedom to Operate Search/ Patent infringement search / Right-to-use search:
This search is being done to determine how similar a product and their existing patents. 

4. Invalidity Search:
This type of search is being done to assess the strength of a specific patent. This type of patent search is completed after a patent is granted.

5. Evidence of Use Search:
This type of search is being done to seek out products that infringe on patent rights. This search happens after a patent is granted.

FAQs about Trademarks

The patent owner has the exclusive right to prevent or stop others from commercially exploiting the patented invention. Patient protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported or sold by others without the patent owner's consent.

The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application. 

Patent rights are usually enforced in a court on the initiative of the right owner. However, the main responsibility for monitoring, identifying and acting against infringers of a patent lies with the patent owner.

Patent information commonly refers to the information found in patent applications and granted patents. This information may include bibliographic data about the inventor and patent applicant or patent holder, a description of the claimed invention and related developments in the field of technology, and a list of claims indicating the scope of patent protection sought by the applicant.

Patent documents contain technological information that is often not divulged in any other form of publication, covering practically every field of technology. They have a relatively standardized format and are classified according to technical fields to make identifying relevant documents even easier. 
The information contained in patent documents can be very useful to researchers, entrepreneurs, and many others, helping them:
• avoid duplication of research and development work.
• build on and improve existing products or processes.
• assess the state-of-the-art in a specific technological field, e.g., to get an idea of the latest developments in this field.
• evaluate the patentability of inventions, in particular the novelty and inventiveness of inventions.
• identify inventions protected by patents, to avoid infringement and seek opportunities for licensing.
• monitor activities of potential partners and competitors both within the country and abroad.
• identify market niches or discover new trends in technology or product development at an early stage. 

Patent applications and related documents are published by national and regional patent offices.
Unpaid databases:
• WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE database
• Google Patents
• Espacenet – patent search
• USPTO Web Patent Database

Paid Databases:
• Orbit
• PatBase
• Patseer 

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