An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to patents.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
(1) This Act may be called The Patents Act, 1970.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date1*as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint: Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act, and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.
1 . The provisions of this Act, other than sections 12(2), 13(2), 28, 68 and 125 to 132 came into force on 20-4-1972, vide S.O. 300(E), dated 20th April, 1972, published in Gazette of India, Extra., pt., II, section. 3(ii), pg.735.
Sections 12(2), 13(2), 28, 68 and 125 to 132 came into force on 1st April, 1978, vide S.O. 799, dated 10th March, 1978, published in Gazette of India, Pt. II, section. 3(ii), pg. 764.
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
1*[(a) "Appellate Board" means the Appellate Board referred to in section 116;
1*[(ab) "assignee" includes an assignee of the assignee and the legal representative of a deceased assignee and references to the assignee of any person include references to the assignee of the legal representative or assignee of that person;]
2*[(aba) "Budapest Treaty" means the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure done at Budapest on 28th day of April, 1977, as amended and modified from time to time;]
1*[(ac) "capable of industrial application", in relation to an invention, means that the invention is capable of being made or used in an industry;]
(b) "Controller" means the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks referred to in section 73;
(c) "Convention application" means an application for a patent made by virtue of section 135;
(d) 3* ["Convention country" means a country or a country which is member of a group of countries or a union of countries or an Inter-Governmental organization 4 [referred to as a convention country in section 133];
(e) "District court" has the meaning assigned to that expression by the Code of Civil Procedure, (5 of 1908).
(f) "Exclusive licence" means a licence from a patentee which confers on the licensee, or on the licensee and persons authorised by him, to the exclusion of all other persons (including the patentee), any right in respect of the patented invention, and exclusive licensee shall be construed accordingly;
(h) "Government undertaking" means any industrial undertaking carried on-
(i) By a department of the Government, or
(ii) By a corporation established by a Central, Provincial or State Act, which is owned or controlled by the Government, or
(iii) By a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956)2 [; or], 6 [omitted];
[2*(iv) by an institution wholly or substantially financed by the Government;]
(i) 7*[ "High Court", in relation to a State or Union territory, means the High Court having territorial jurisdiction in that State or Union territory, as the case may be];
8*[(ia) "international application" means an application for patent made in accordance with the Patent Co-operation Treaty;]
9*[(j) 'Invention' means a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application;
(ja) 10*["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];
(k) "Legal representative" means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person;
11*[(l) "new invention" means any invention or technology which has not been anticipated by publication in any document or used in the country or elsewhere in the world before the date of filing of patent application with complete specification, that is, the subject matter has not fallen in public domain or that it does not form part of the state of the art;'
(la) "Opposition Board" means an Opposition Board constituted under sub-section (4) of section 25;
(m) "Patent" means a patent for any invention granted under this Act;'.]
(n) "Patent agent" means a person for the time being registered under this Act as a patent agent;
(o) "Patented article" and "patented process" means respectively an article or process in respect of which a patent is in force;
8*[(oa) "Patent Co-operation Treaty" means the Patent Co-operation Treaty done at Washington on the 19th day of June, 1970 as amended and modified from time to time;]
(p) "Patentee" means the person for the time being entered on the register as the grantee or proprietor of the patent;
(q) "Patent of addition" means a patent granted in accordance with section 54;
(r) "patent office" means the patent office referred to in section 74;
(s) "Person" includes the Government;
(t) "Person interested" includes a person engaged in, or in promoting, research in the same field as that to which the invention relates;
2*(ta) "Pharmaceutical substance" means any new entity involving one or more inventive steps;'
12*[(u) "Prescribed" means,-
(A) In relation to proceedings before a High Court, prescribed by rules made by the High Court;
(B) In relation to proceedings before the Appellate Board, prescribed by rules made by the Appellate Board; and
(C) In other cases, prescribed by rules made under this Act.]
(v) "Prescribed manner" includes the payment of the prescribed fee;
(w) "Priority date" has the meaning assigned to it by section 11;
(x) "Register" means the register of patents referred to in section 67;
(y) "True and first inventor" does not include either the first importer of an invention into India, or a person to whom an invention is first communicated from outside India.
(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference-
(a) To the Controller shall be construed as including a reference to any officer discharging the functions of the Controller in pursuance of section 73;
(b) To the patent office shall be construed as including a reference to any branch office of the patent office.
1. Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 (sub-cluase (a) is effective from 02.04.2007 and sub-clauses (ab) and (ac) are effective from 20.05.2003). Prior to substitution it read as under :
""assignee" includes the legal representative of a deceased assignee, and references to the assignee of any person include references to the assignee of the legal representative or assignee of that person;"
2. Inserted by Patents Amendment Act (15 of 2005)
3. Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003. Prior to substitution it read as under :
""convention country" means a country notified as such under sub-section (1) of section 133;"
4. Substituted by Patents Amendment Act (15 of 2005) for the words "notified as such under sub-section (1) of section 133"
5. Omitted byPatents Amendment Act (15 of 2005)
6. The words "and includes the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and any other institution which is financed wholly or for the major part by the said Council" Omitted byPatents Amendment Act (15 of 2005)
7. Substituted by Patents (Amendment) Act (15 of 2005 ) for the words
"High Court" means,-
(i) in relation to the * [National Capital Territory of Delhi] the High Court of Delhi;
**[(ii) In relation to the State of Arunachal Pradesh and the State of Mizoram, the Gauhati High Court (the High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh);]
iii) In relation to the Union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the High Court at Calcutta;
(iv) In relation to the Union territory of the Lakshadweep, the High Court of Kerala;
(v) In relation to the *** [State of Goa, the Union territory of Daman and Diu]and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the High Court at Bombay;
(vi) In relation to the Union territory of Pondicherry, the High Court at Madras;
(vii) In relation to the Union territory of Chandigarh, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana; and (viii) in relation to any other State, the High Court for that State;
* Substituted for "Union Territory of Delhi" by Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003.
** Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003. Prior to substitution it read as under :
"(ii) in relation to the Union territory of Arunachal Pradesh and Union territory of Mizoram, Gauhati High Court (the High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura);"
***Substituted for Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Dui" by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003.
9. Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003. Prior to substitution it read as under :
"J. invention" means any new and useful-
(i) Art, process, method or manner of manufacture;
(ii) Machine, apparatus or other article;
(iii) Substance produced by manufacture, d. includes any new and useful improvement of any of them, and an alleged invention;"
10. Substituted by Patents (Amendment) Act (15 of 2005 ) for the words 'inventive step' means a feature that makes the invention not obvious to a person skilled in the art;]
11. Substituted by Patents (Amendment) Act (15 of 2005 ) for the words
(l) "medicine or drug" includes-
(i) All medicines for internal or external use of human beings or animals;
(ii) All substances intended to be used for or in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of diseases in human beings or animals;
(iii) All substances intended to be used for or in the maintenance of public health, or the prevention or control of any epidemic disease among human beings or animals;
(iv) Insecticides, germicides, fungicides, weedicides and all other substances intended to be used for the protection or preservation of plants;
(v) All chemical substances which are ordinarily used as intermediates in the preparation or manufacture of any of the medicines or substances above referred to;
(m) * ["patent" means a patent granted under this Act;]
*Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003. Prior to substitution it read as under : "m "patent" means a patent granted under this Act and includes for the purposes of sections 44, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 63, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 78, 134, 140, 153, 154 and 156 and Chapters XVI, XVII and XVIII, a patent granted under the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911 (2 of 1911);"
12. Substituted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002. Prior to substitution it read as under :
"u ."prescribed" means, in relation to proceedings before a High Court, prescribed by rules made by the High Court, and in other cases, prescribed by rules made under this Act;" Sub-clauses (A) and (C) of clause u are effective from w.e.f 20.05.2003 and Sub-clause (B) effective from 02.04.2007.
The following are not inventions within the meaning of this Act,-
(a) An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws;
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
(c) The mere discovery of a scientific principle or
the formulation of an abstract theory; 2*[or discovery of any living
thing or non-living substance occurring in nature]
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.
for the purposes of this clause, salts, esters, ethers, polymorphs,
metabolites, pure form, particle size, isomers, mixtures of isomers,
complexes, combinations and other derivatives of known substance shall
be considered to be the same substance, unless they differ significantly
in properties with regard to efficacy;"]
(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
(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;
Any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic 2*
[diagnostic, the rapeutic] or other treatment of human beings or any
process for a similar treatment of animals 5 [***] to render them free
of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their
2*[(j) Plants and animals in whole or any part thereof
other than micro-organisms 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;
A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic
creation whatsoever including cinematographic works and television
(m) A mere scheme or rule or method of performing mental act or method of playing game;
(n) A presentation of information;
(o) Topography of integrated circuits :
An invention which, in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an
aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known
component or components.]
Substituted by Patents amendment Act (15 of 2005) for the words "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
4. Clause (g) omitted by Patents (Amdt.) Act, 2002 dated 25.06.2002 w.e.f 20.05.2003. Prior to omission it read as under :
a method or process of testing applicable during the process of
manufacture for rendering the machine, apparatus or other equipment more
efficient or for the improvement or restoration of the existing
machine, apparatus or other equipment or for the improvement or control
1. Omitted by Patents amendment Act (15 of 2005), Section 5 previous to omission read as under:
Inventions are only methods or processes of manufacture patentable.-*
[(1)] In the case of inventions-
(a) Claiming substances intended for use, or capable of being used, as food or as medicine or drug, or
Relating to substances prepared or produced by chemical processes
(including alloys, optical glass, semi-conductors and inter-metallic
compounds).no patent shall be granted in respect of claim for the
substances themselves, but claims for the methods or processes of
manufacture shall be patentable.
** [(2) Notwithstanding anything
contained in sub-section (i), a claim for patent of an invention for a
substance itself intended for use, or capable of being used, as medicine
or drug, except the medicine or drug specified under sub-clause (v) of
clause (1) of subsection (1) of section 2, may be made and shall be
dealt, without prejudice to the other provisions of this Act, in the
manner provided in Chapter IVA.]
*** [Explanation.-For the
purposes of this section, "chemical process" includes biochemical,
biotechnological and microbiological process.]
* Section 5 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act 17 of 1999, section. 2 w.r.e.f. 1-1-1995.
** Inserted. by Act 17 of 1999, section. 2 w.r.e.f. 1-1-1995.
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