A patent gives its owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without approval. Before such a right is granted, there obviously is a rigorous check on whether the process or product is inventive (i.e. isn’t obvious), novel (hasn’t been anticipated in any published document) and industrially applicable (possesses utility). It involves a search of the database of the intellectual property regulator of India to check whether there exists an object or invention that is the same as or similar to applicant’s invention. This is also known as a prior art search.
A patent is a right granted to an individual or enterprise by the government that excludes others from making, using, selling or importing the patented product or process without prior approval. In exchange for this right, the applicant must fully disclose the minutiae of the invention. A patent for a product or process that proves successful can give its owner a serious competitive advantage over rivals. It is valid for 20 years, after which it falls into the public domain. A patentable invention can be any art, process, method or manner of manufacture; machine, apparatus or other articles; substances produced by manufacturing; computer software with technical application to industry or used with hardware; and product patent for food, chemicals, medicines and drugs.