Patenting Innovation in India: Powering Progress, Protecting Ideas



Inventions, which are new solutions or methods, are fuelled by patents, which grant inventors temporary exclusive rights to their creations. This system has seen a dramatic rise in patent applications, reflecting the growing value of protecting new ideas. Patents are crucial because they incentivize innovation by allowing inventors to profit from their work and recoup research costs. They also come with legal protection against theft or copying. Ultimately, strong patent laws, along with other intellectual property rights, promote economic growth by encouraging innovation and attracting investment.


A patent acts as a benefit granted by the government to the creator that permits them to anticipate others to create, offer or utilize the invention for a specific amount of time.

A monopoly is the sense understood here, is a license from a government granting to an individual or a corporation the exclusive privilege of practicing a certain art.

India's patent law journey began with the Indian Patents and Designs Act of 1911. However, the current governing legislation is the Patents Act, 1970, which came into effect in 1972. The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) oversees the Indian Patent Act. While the Patent Office resides in Kolkata with branches in Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi, CGPDTM headquarters are located in Mumbai. Additionally, Nagpur houses the National Institute for Intellectual Property Management and the Patent Information System office. The Controller General not only administers the Act but also advises the government on related matters.

Patent Inovation

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1. Independent Assessment of the Inventor’s Ability

In a knowledge economy, we are required to assess intangible outputs more frequently since they lack clear-cut measures. For instance, prospective employers must assess the calibre of present or future employees' inventions, parties to a licensing agreement may need to appraise the value of technology, or investors should analyze the worth of businesses, especially businesses whose primary assets are immaterial, such as minor businesses or start-ups.

Since patents are granted by independent entities (Patent Offices), they serve as a reliable indicator of the calibre of inventors, the worth of their discoveries, or the value of a company's intangible assets, including its capacity for future innovation.

2. Dissemination of public notice

The patent claim serves as a means of notice dissemination by letting everyone know what the inventor wishes to protect and the claims identify the precise boundaries of the patent's protection. The patent claim is made public as soon as the patent is granted.

3. Curbing the competition

Patents can limit competition. If someone else is making your invention without a patent of their own, your valid patent gives you the legal power to stop them.

4. Secure venture capital

Compared to firms without venture capital backing, venture capital-backed companies tend to file more patents. The companies who patented their invention early on were linked to higher overall investment and consequently were more successful, according to an empirical review of patent strategies of technology firms. IP is viewed as a sign of a company's ambition, creativity, and forward-thinking initiative by entrepreneurial investors. Companies having IP portfolios are valued more highly in the seed stage and Series A Venture capital funding.


A patent is determined by the Indian Patent Office and courts based on the provisions of the Patents Act 1970 of India. The Patents Act in India provides that an invention may be granted a patent pursuant to Section 2(1)(m). An invention is a new item or process within the meaning of Section 2(1)(j) of that law. In addition, the invention must also be suitable for industrial use and include an innovative process.


One of the most important things to consider when determining whether an invention is patentable is whether it is new or not. A novel or new invention is any invention or technology that has not been published in any form or used anywhere in the world prior to the date of filing a patent application with full specification, meaning that the subject matter has not entered the public domain or is not part of the current state of the art.

Non – obviousness

An invention can't be granted a patent if it's something someone with a typical level of skill and knowledge in that field would already consider obvious. According to the Patents Act, Section 2(1)(ja), an inventive step involves a technological advancement or has economic value, or both. It must be a significant improvement over existing knowledge and not something that would be immediately apparent to someone with average skills and knowledge in that particular area.

Industrial application

In addition to being unique and innovative, a patent's subject matter also has to apply to the industry. While there are several court cases involving disagreements over whether a patent's subject matter is unique or innovative, there are very few instances involving such disputes.

In the case of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma vs. MSN Laboratories and others, the court ruled that even if the subject matter of a patent is still in the conceptual stage and may not yet be commercially viable, it is still useful and applicable to industry. Article 33 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty also includes a provision on industrial application, which stipulates that a claim must be technically feasible for use in any industry to be considered "industrially applicable."


As a rule of thumb, every industry needs some form of intellectual property protection in its sector, such as the Pharma Industry. IPR is crucial for pharmaceutical companies because it helps them identify, plan, market, and protect their innovations.

The pharmaceutical industry is particularly vulnerable to potential third-party replication. When a company successfully develops a new drug, there is a significant risk of other companies attempting to duplicate it through reverse engineering. This is where patents come into play, safeguarding the rights of the inventor and their innovation.

During covid 19 pandemic the same thing happened. Each major pharmaceutical manufacturing corporation actively sought a COVID-19 vaccine as a crucial measure against the pandemic. However, there have been protests in some countries, indicating a lack of commitment to ending the pandemic. South Africa and India submitted a draft proposal to World Trade Organization (WTO) in October 2020 for the waiver of intellectual property rights held by the pharmaceutical industry in respect of vaccines and therapies used to treat the coronavirus.

Under the waiver, vaccine manufacturers in developing countries will be able to produce vaccines without worrying about being sued by large pharmaceutical companies that hold patents on vaccines.


Patents are key to India's innovative future. They incentivize research and development by attracting investment and protecting intellectual property. This is especially important in rapidly growing fields like artificial intelligence and biotechnology, where patents provide a legal framework for businesses and inventors. Startups and small businesses can leverage patents to gain a competitive edge and secure funding.

Beyond commercial benefits, patents also promote innovation in sustainable technologies that address global challenges like climate change and public health. They encourage collaboration among inventors, ultimately leading to better solutions. However, India's patent system faces hurdles such as processing efficiency and balancing public health needs with access to technology. The legal framework is constantly evolving to address these issues and foster a thriving innovation ecosystem in India

Author : Aayan Birla, in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing or write back us via email at

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