Patent registration process in India for software and mobile applications is visible from review of granted patents.
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Getting a patent granted requires a comprehensive patent strategy, and even after obtaining patent registration certificate, during the stage of patent assignment, it is essential to perform a freedom to operate search to ensure that the patent will not infringe upon third party patent rights.
Patent Portfolio Evaluation
Patent Portfolio Analysis often occurs during due diligence. For example, an analysis may occur when an investor is determining whether to purchase or invest in a company. Many times the investor obtains what they believe to be a thorough understanding of the portfolio, when in reality they only have a superficial understanding.
Licensing of Patents
In India, an obligation is imposed on a patentee to work the patent in India on a commercial scale and to the fullest extent. The patent may be worked by the patentee himself or through licensees. Failure to fulfil this obligation will entail in the granting of compulsory licenses or the revocation of the patent itself.
Patent Infringement & Non-Infringement
“Infringement” is the unauthorized use of a patented invention. An infringement of a patent occurs when the exclusive rights of a patentee are violated. What constitutes an “infringement” has not been defined in the Patents Act.
Section 104 of the Patents Act, 1970 states that only the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) or the High Court can be approached for revocation as no suit of infringement can be brought before a court inferior to the District Court having jurisdiction.
Patent Grant in India
According to Section 43 (1), when the application for the grant of patent is in order and the controller has approved it by the virtue of power vested in him under the said act, and not the application is in contravention to any of the provisions of the said act, the patent shall be granted with the seal of the patent office and the date on which the patent is granted will be recorded in the register.
Patent opposition provides an opportunity to the public to challenge frivolous and legally invalid patents. Under the 1970 Act, the patent could be opposed before it was granted (pre-grant opposition). The person opposing the patent is part to the proceedings. Under the 2005 Amendment Act, the opposition procedure is streamlined by having both pre-grant and post-grant opposition in the Patent Office.
As per the procedure followed by the Indian Patent Office, the patent specification filed by the patent applicant includes invention details and patent claims. As it is well known, the most important aspect of the patent application are the patent claims because the patent claims define the scope of the invention.
Patent Publication and Examination
The patent application is automatically published after a period of 18 months from the date of filling the application for making it a prior art. Prior art acts as evidence that your invention is already known. In case the applicant is desirous of an early publication, he/she can file under Form 9 requesting for an early publication and by paying the requisite fee provided in Table I of the First Schedule. (See Rule 7 of the Patent Rules, 2003).
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