The Government of India grants a patent to a person for his/her invention. A person having a patent for his/her invention can exclude others from unauthorised usage, making, selling, offering, or importing the invention. Thus, it grants exclusive rights to a person on his/her inventions. It helps companies secure their inventions from their competitors and control who uses or sells their inventions.
Patent of a Chemical Compound
Initially, under the Patent Act, 1970, patents were granted only for the process of substances produced by chemicals. No product patent was granted relating to the substances created using a chemical. India signed the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement in 1995.
The TRIPS provided the minimum standards of Intellectual Property (IP) laws to be followed by all its member countries, including India. The Patent Act, 1970 was amended to incorporate the provisions of the TRIPS agreement, and product patents were introduced in India. Thus, currently, inventors can obtain both the product and process patent in India for a product created or the process of creating a product using a chemical compound.
Chemical patents help scientists get an exclusive right to market, use, and sell specific chemicals, compounds, and molecules. The patent extends to the development, experimentation, usage, and marketing of chemical compounds in various substances/products. A chemical patent helps the researchers to protect their discovery.
Types of Patent for a Chemical Compound
- Provisional Patent: An inventor, scientist or researcher can apply for a provisional patent when the invention is still in the stage of experimentation. It will be valid for a year, and the inventor must file for an ordinary patent application within the end of the year to complete the patent process and secure protection.
- Ordinary Patent: The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (controller) will grant an ordinary patent when an Indian inventor files for obtaining a patent under the Patent Law. The ordinary patent gives patent protection in India. The inventors have to file the patent application with the Patent Office of their jurisdiction. The patent office is in Chennai (for southern India), Delhi (for northern India), Kolkata (for eastern India), and Mumbai (for western India).
- PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) International Patent: Foreign inventors apply for patent protection in India to get international patent protection. India is the ‘Receiving Office’ as per the guidelines of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for granting PCT-NP (National Phase) protection for international patent inventions in India.
Patent Application Process for a Chemical Compound
- The inventor/applicant must file the patent application (Form 1) at the Patent Office of appropriate jurisdiction. The applicant must pay the required fees along with the patent application.
- The controller will examine the application and publish it after 18 months from the date of filing the patent application.
- The applicant must request for examination of the application within 48 months of filing the patent application.
- The patent examiner will examine the patent application and issue a report.
- If the patent examiner raises an objection, the applicant must amend or rectify the application within the specified time.
- Any third party can raise opposition to the application after its publication. In such cases, the controller will conduct a hearing on the opposition and pass an order on the application.
- When the controller is satisfied that the patent application is amended as per the objections raised by the examiner or passes the order of acceptance on the application’s opposition, he/she will grant the patent.
Documents Required for a Chemical Patent Application
The documents that an inventor must attach along with the patent application are:
- Complete/provisional specification (Form 2).
- The number of claims.
- Abstract of the invention.
- Drawings, if any.
- Priority documents, in case of the priority claim.
- Statement of undertaking (Form 3).
- Declaration of inventorship (Form 5).
Validity of the Chemical Patent
The controller will issue the chemical patent for 20 years from the date of filing the patent application. However, a PCT international patent is granted for 20 years from the date of international filing of the patent application. The inventor can renew the chemical patent by paying the renewal fees to the patent office within the expiration of 20 years.
The chemical patent provides protection only within India. To obtain international chemical patent protection, the inventor needs to apply for a patent in the PCT country where he/she wants the protection.
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