draft guidelines for search and examination of patent applications

draft guidelines for search and examination of patent applications
GUIDELINES FOR SEARCH AND EXAMINATION OF PATENT APPLICATIONS
INDIAN PATENT OFFICE
OFFICE OF THE CONTROLLER GENERAL OF PATENTS, DESIGNS AND
TRADEMARKS
2015
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Table of Content
1. Introduction
1.1 Overview of patent system
1.2 Importance of patent examination
1.3 Necessity of the guidelines
1.4 Scope of these guidelines
1.5 Disclaimer
2. Patent application processing flow- a brief
2.1 Application Filing
2.2 Screening and classification
2.3 publication
2.4 Request for examination
3. Overview of Patent Examination
3.1 Mandate of law
3.2 Formal Examination
3.2.1
Timelines of filing documents and RQs, Forms and fee, right to file, priority rights
etc.
3.3 Substantive examination
3.3.1
Understanding the invention
3.3.2
Sufficiency of disclosure
3.3.3
Understanding the scope of claims
3.3.4
Unity of invention
3.4 Patentability criterion novelty, inventive step, industrial applicability
3.4.1
Novelty of Invention
3.4.2
Inventive Step
3.4.3
Industrial Applicability
3.5 Inventions not Patentable
3.6 Illustrative Examples
4. International Patent Classification
4.1 Importance, necessity and details
5. Search for novelty and inventive step
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5.1 Concepts including search standards
5.2 Guidance (search strategy, databases, methodology, recording, reporting etc)
5.3 Examples
6. Examination standards and detailed official requirements
7. Amendments (types, before/ after grant, allowability, clerical error etc.)
8. Pre-grant disposal procedure
9. Examination Report writing methodology
10. Examination procedure at amended stage
11. Abandoning, refusal and grant procedure
12. Disposal of post grant opposition
13. Disposal of post grant amendments
14. Review of Controllers’ decision (procedure)
Annexure:
1. Annexure-I: Table Showing the time provided under the Patents Act and Rules
2. Annexure-II: Official Notification with regard to Atomic Energy
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Chapter 1
Introduction
1.1 Overview Of The Indian Patent System
Patent system provides a judiciously tailored bargain that rewards an inventor in lieu of the
disclosure of his invention to the society. A patent confers, for a limited period, an exclusive
right upon the patentee to prevent third parties, who do not have his consent, from the act of
making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing his invention.
To induce an inventor to disclose his invention to the society, the patent system of a country, in
conformity with its public policy objectives, provides a balancing mechanism wherein the public
is benefitted from the disclosure and the inventor is benefited from the exclusivity.
Indian Patent system stemmed from the Act VI of 1856 on Protection of Inventions, which
underwent through several amendments to finally emerge as The Inventions & Designs Act (Act
V of 1888). These Acts accorded certain rights of exclusive privileges to the innovators, akin to
the Patent Rights. The Act of 1888 was in force for 23 years after which Patents & Designs Act of
1911 (Act II of 1911) came into force. At the time of independence it was felt that the Act of
1911 was not adequate for the development of national industry. Accordingly, on the basis of
the recommendations of Patent Enquiry Committee (1948-50) led by Justice Bakshi Tek Chand,
amendments were made in the Patents and Designs Act, 1911, first in 1950 (by Act XXXII of
1950) in relation to working of inventions, including compulsory licensing and revocation of
patents, and then in 1952, (by Act LXX of 1952) to provide for compulsory license for food and
medicines, insecticide, germicide or fungicide, and for the process for producing substance or
any invention relating to surgical or curative devices. Subsequently another Committee was
constituted for further reforms of the Patents Act under the leadership of Shri Justice N.
Rajagopala Ayyangar (1957-59). The Committee under Justice Ayyangar, especially after
thoroughly examining the contemporary law of patents governing inventions on chemical
substances of different countries, recommended that only process claims be allowed in those
fields of inventions. One of the key recommendations of the Committee was that, inventions
related to foods and medicines including insecticides and fungicides etc., and the products of
chemical reactions, should not be patentable as such and processes for their productions
should alone be patentable.
On the basis of these reports, and on the basis of further discourses in different forums, Patents
Act 1970 came into force in 1972. The Patents Act 1970 allowed process patents for drugs,
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foods and products of chemical reactions but no product patents were allowed for inventions
related to such substances. Also differential patent terms were introduced for patents related
foods and drugs and for those belonging to other categories.
The last two decades of the past century saw a lot of changes in the field of intellectual property
rights in different international forums. A number of treaties like WTO agreement and Trade
Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights as part of the WTO agreement effective from
01/01/1995 ushered in a paradigm shift in the field of Intellectual Property including Patents.
Similarly Convention on Bio-diversity 1992 also required amendments in the Patents Act of the
member countries. Still further, Doha Declaration on TRIPs and Public Health 2001, resulting
from global public health crisis and agreed within framework of TRIPS, also had a deep influence
on the Patents Laws of the countries member to WTO.
India is a member of both WTO and CBD and therefore needed to change its Patent Laws in
accordance with these Treaties. Moreover, India joined Paris Convention and Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1998, Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of
Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure in 2001. Amendments were also effected
in the Act so as to accommodate these international obligations.
Indian Patents Act, 1970 was amended in 1999 with effect from 01/01/1995, in 2002 coming
into effect in 2003 and finally in 2005. TRIPs agreement required the introduction of the
product patenting in all sectors of technology including Pharmaceuticals. Also a uniform 20
years term for all categories of Patents was yet another important objective of the TRIPs
agreement. However, for the introduction of the product patent TRIPs agreement provided a
ten years transition period to developing countries like India subject to certain conditions. India
introduced the transition provisions in its Act by the amendment of 1999 and finally introduced
the product patenting on and from 01.01.2005.
Also as a consequence of CBD India introduced its own Biological Diversity Act, 2002. After
amendment suitable interfaces were crafted in Indian Patents Act for the sustainable and
equitable utilization of genetic resources of India.
1.2 Importance of patent examination
The Patent system, as suggested before, creates a exclusivity for a limited period to the owner
of an invention. Such exclusivity, at a first glance, may appear to restrict competitiveness in the
market. But the market loss, from this the barrier created by this exclusivity, is compensated by
the entry of new technologies in the market accompanying therewith potential for further
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growth of industry However, this dynamics may be seriously impaired by the bad patents
granted to an undeserving invention. It is therefore obligatory that the exclusivity in the form of
patent is granted to only such inventions which meet the criteria laid down under the Patents
Act. Patents Act therefore, stipulates different benchmarks which need to be satisfied for an
invention to become eligible for grant. For instance, Patents Act require that only those
inventions should be allowed for grant which fulfil the criteria of novelty, inventive step,
industrial applicability and other conditions for patentability. In addition to that sufficiency of
disclosure and support of the claims are extremely important parameters for the grant of the
patent. Different filtering mechanisms are available in the Act so as to allow an invention to be
patented and be maintained for its prescribed terms.
The examination of a patent application by the Examiner and then subsequent processing by
the Controller constitute one such filtering mechanism. In the Patent Office the invention as
described in the specification is subjected to a comprehensive search in different databases to
find out the appropriate prior arts for ascertaining novelty and inventiveness of an alleged
invention during the process of examination as per provisions of the Act and Rules.
Even though checks and balances in the form of pre- and post- grant oppositions, revocations
or counter revocations in infringement suits are available, the examination system acts as a
primary gate keeper of the patent system.
1.3 Necessity of the guidelines
In the post-globalized regime, Indian Patent Office has a major responsibility of protecting
inventions by following the due process under the Act so as to promote the industrial
development of this country. The provisions of the Act are required to be administered in a
transparent, uniform and consistent manner. Over the past few years this office published the
Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure and guidelines for examining inventions
relating to Traditional Knowledge, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals. A need is felt that
Patent Office should now publish a comprehensive search and examination guidelines which
will encompass all areas of technology as well as will reflect the office practice so as to achieve
greater transparency in its working procedure.
1.4 Scope of these guidelines
In the different chapters of these guidelines different ingredients for search and examination
have been discussed in details. In the second chapter of the Guidelines, the processing of
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applications has been described in brief. The processing so explained comprises of steps of
application Filing, screening and classification, publication, request for examination etc..
The third chapter covers an Overview of Patent Examination vis-à-vis Mandate of law
comprising scope of examination i.e. different components of formal, substantive examination.
This chapter then describes patentability criterion novelty, inventive step, and industrial
applicability. For a better understanding, the concepts underlying the patentability criteria have
been clarified with reference to the specific examples.
Classifying a Patent application as per international patent classification is yet another
important point which is needed for combining with other important key words while searching
the prior arts. The fourth chapter deals with subject of classification of inventions along with
suitable examples for proper classifications as per International Patent Classifications.
Importance and necessity of classification has been discussed in this chapter for a better
understanding of the concept underlying classification.
In the fifth chapter the Searching prior arts for determining novelty and inventive step has been
described in details with specific reference to search strategy, databases, methodology,
recording, reporting etc. Also, examples have been cited to explain the search strategies.
Sixth chapter covers details of Examination standards, detailed examination standard
objections. In the subsequent chapters, Amendments (types, before/ after grant, allowability,
clerical error etc.), Pre-grant disposal procedure, Examination Report writing methodology,
Abandoning, refusal and grant procedure, Disposal of post grant opposition, Disposal of post
grant amendments.
In the annexures table showing the time provided under the Patents Act and Rules and official
notification with regard to Atomic Energy have been appended.
1.5 Disclaimer
Let it be noted that the object of these guidelines is to assist the Examiners and Controllers in
their day-to-day duty. These guidelines therefore should not be construed as an act of
rulemaking, rather in case of any conflict between these guidelines and the Act and Rules the Act
and Rules will prevail.
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Chapter 2
Patent application processing flow- a brief
2.1 Application Filing - Initial processing
On receipt of an application, the Office accords a date and serial number to it. PCT national
phase Applications and non-PCT Applications are identified by separate serial numbers.
All applications and other documents are digitized, verified, screened, classified and
uploaded to the internal server of the Office.
Patent applications and other documents are arranged in a file wrapper and the
Bibliographic sheet is prepared and pasted on the file cover, so that the files move on for
storing in the compactors.
2.2 Screening and classification
The Application is screened for:
o
International Patent Classification.
o
Technical field of invention for allocation to an examiner in the respective field.
o
Relevance to defence or atomic energy.
o
Correcting/completing the abstract, if required. If found not proper, the abstract will
be recast suitably, so as to provide better information to third parties. However,
such amendments should not result in a change in the nature of invention.
Requests for examination are also accorded a unique serial number.
Scrutiny of application
The Office checks whether the Application has been filed in appropriate jurisdiction. If the
jurisdiction is not appropriate, the application shall not be taken on record and the applicant
is informed accordingly.
The Office checks for proof of right to file the application. If the proof of right is not filed
along with the application, it shall be filed within a period of six months from the date of
filing of the application. Otherwise, the applicant shall file the same along with a petition
under Rule 137/138.
The Office checks whether the application and other documents have been filed in the
prescribed format i.e. prescribed forms, request, petitions, assignment deeds, translation
etc. Further, the Office checks whether:
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o
the documents are prepared on a proper sized paper, typed in appropriate font with
proper spacing,
o
the documents are duly signed.
o
abstract, drawings (if any) have been filed in proper format,
o
meaningful Claim(s) are present in a complete Specification,
o
Power of Attorney or attested copy of General Power of Attorney (if any) is filed,
o
Form-5 has been filed(along with complete after Provisional or for filing PCT-NP/
Convention Application),
o
the invention has been assigned to another person and Form 6 has been duly filed. If
the right is assigned from an individual to a legal entity, the legal entity is invited to
pay the balance fees.
Secrecy Directions and consequences thereof
If in the opinion of the Controller an invention pertains to a subject matter relevant for
the purpose of defence as notified by the Central Government, the Controller issues a
direction prohibiting the publication of the application to the applicant and refers the
matter to the Central Government for their consideration as to whether the application
is prejudicial to the defence of India.
The Central Government, after considering the merits of the secrecy direction, may give
notice to the Controller as to whether the secrecy direction needs to be continued or
not. Accordingly the controller shall notify the applicant.
The Central Government reviews the matter at an interval of six months. The applicant
may request for a reconsideration of the secrecy direction and if the same is found
reasonable by the Controller, he may request the Central Government for a review.
If the Central Government is of the opinion that an invention in respect of which the
Controller has not imposed a secrecy direction and is relevant for defence purposes, it
may at any time before the grant of the patent notify the Controller to that effect.
Thereupon, the Controller invokes the provisions of Section 35(1).
So long as any directions under Section 35 are in force, the Controller shall not take a
decision on grant/refusal of the application.
Inventions relating to Atomic Energy
No Patent is granted in respect of an invention relating to atomic energy falling within subsection (1) of Section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
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o
According to Section 20(1) of Atomic Energy Act 1962, atomic energy means energy
released from atomic nuclei as a result of any process including the fission and
fusion processes. Under this Act, “prescribed substances" means any substance
including any mineral which the Central Government may, by notification, prescribe,
being a substance which in its opinion is or may be used for the production or use of
atomic energy or research into matters connected therewith and includes uranium,
plutonium, thorium, beryllium, deuterium or any of these respective derivative or
compounds or any other materials containing any of the aforesaid substances.
Any person desiring to apply for a patent abroad for an invention relating to or which he has
reason to believe relates to atomic energy shall obtain prior permission from the Central
Government before making the application or causing the application to be made abroad
unless three months (section 20(5) of Atomic Energy Act) have elapsed since his request for
permission was made to the Central Government and no reply was received by him.
Upon screening, if an Application is found to be falling within the purview of the Atomic
Energy Act, the Controller refers the Application to the Central Government (Department of
Atomic Energy).
The Central Government upon consideration may issue a direction to the Controller, which is
binding.
The opinion of the Central Government is not open to an appeal.
The official notification in this regard is annexed as Annexure-II.
Withdrawal of patent application
The applicant may, at any time after filing the application but before the grant of a patent,
withdraw the application by making a request in writing and by paying the prescribed fee.
However, if the applicant makes a request for withdrawal under section 11(B)(4) within 15
months from the date of filing or priority of the application, whichever is earlier, the
application will not be published in accordance with 11A(3)(c).
2.3 Publication
Early Publication:
A patent application can be published at any time prior to 18 months from its date of priority
or from the date of filing if requested on Form-9 by the applicant [Section 11A(2) & Rule
24A]. The application is ordinarily published within a month of such request. The early
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publication helps the applicant to make his invention public at an early date and thereby
availing the privileges and rights as available for published applications from the same date.
Form-9 is accepted on due validation with the original patent application documents.
Publication u/s 11A:
Every other patent application is published after expiry of 18 months from the date of
application or from the date of priority whichever is earlier.
Effect of Publication:
The effect of publication is that the documents such as complete specification along with
provisional specification if any, drawings and abstract are laid open to public.
This
publication includes particular of the date of the application, number of application, name
and address of the applicant, identifying the application and an abstract. Further on and
from the date of publication of the application for patent and until the date of grant of a
patent in respect of such application, the applicant shall have the like privileges and rights as
if a patent for the invention had been granted on the date of publication of the application.
2.4 Request for examination
The Patents Act, 1970 provides for examination of patent application only on filing of
request for examination by the applicant or any other interested person [section 11 B]. This
request can be filed on Form-18 with prescribed fee at any time within 48 months from the
date of priority or from the date of filing of the application, whichever is earlier. The patent
application is referred to the examiner strictly in order of the requests filed. The examiner
to whom the application is referred for examination has to submit his report to the
Controller ordinarily within a period of one month from such reference but not exceeding
three months from such reference [Rule 24B (2)].
Allocation of application to examiner for examination:
Once the request for examination is received and the application has been published, the
Controller shall refer the particular application to an examiner for conducting examination
and search in accordance with section 12 and 13 of the Patents Act, 1970. Before such
reference the controller has to take the following points into consideration.
In order of filing of request: Reference of patent application shall be strictly in accordance
with the sequential order of filing of the request for examination.
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Chapter 3
Overview of Examination of Patent application
3.1 Mandate of law
The examination of patent application is conducted in accordance with the provisions of
section 12 1 of the Patents Act, 1970. After the patent application is filed and subsequent to
the filing of the request for examination as well as the publication of the same, the Controller
shall refer the application and the specification and other documents related thereto to an
examiner for making a report to him in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules
made thereunder.
The search needs to be conducted in accordance with section 13 2 of the patents Act, 1970.
However, it is evident that section 12(1) [(a) to (d)] mandate applicability of the entire Patent
Act and the Rules made thereunder for the purpose of examination of the patent application.
The examiner has to submit the report of such examination to the Controller on the matters
specified under therein accordingly.
1
Examination of application
(1) When a request for examination has been made in respect of an application for a patent in the prescribed manner under sub-section
(1) or sub-section (3) of section 11B, the application and specification and other documents related thereto shall be referred at the earliest
by the Controller to an examiner for making a report to him in respect of the following matters, namely:—
(a) whether the application and the specification and other documents relating thereto are in accordance with the requirements of this
Act and of any rules made thereunder;
(b) whether there is any lawful ground of objection to the grant of the patent under this Act in pursuance of the application;
(c)the result of investigations made under section 13; an
(d)any other matter which may be prescribed.
(2) The examiner to whom the application and the specification and other documents relating thereto are referred under sub-section (1)
shall ordinarily make the report to the Controller within such period as may be prescribed.
2
Section 13
Search for anticipation by previous publication and by prior claim.
(1) The examiner to whom an application for a patent is referred under section 12 shall make investigation for the purpose of ascertaining
whether the invention so far as claimed in any claim of the complete specification—
(a) has been anticipated by publication before the date of filing of the applicant's complete specification in any specification filed
in pursuance of an application for a patent made in India and dated on or after the 1st day of January, 1912;
(b) is claimed in any claim of any other complete specification published on or after the date of filing of the applicant's complete
specification, being a specification filed in pursuance of an application for a patent made in India and dated before or claiming the priority
date earlier than that date.
(2) The examiner shall, in addition, make such investigation for the purpose of ascertaining whether the invention, so far as claimed in any
claim of the complete specification, has been anticipated by publication in India or elsewhere in any document other than those
mentioned in sub-section (1) before the date of filing of the applicant's complete specification.
(3)Where a complete specification is amended under the provisions of this Act before the grant of patent, the amended specification shall
be examined and investigated in like manner as the original specification.
(4)The examination and investigations required under section 12 and this section shall not be deemed in any way to warrant the validity of
any patent, and no liability shall be incurred by the Central Government or any officer thereof by reason of, or in connection with, any
such examination or investigation or any report or other proceedings consequent thereon.
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3.2 Formal examination
The patent examination can broadly be classified in two distinct forms, the formality
examination and the substantive examination.
The following steps are involved in the formal examination of patent applications
To check whether the application, specification and other related documents are filed in
duplicate in prescribed forms or not.
To check whether the applicant is entitled to apply for patent under section 6 of the Act.
To check the jurisdiction of the applicant as specified under Rule 4(1)(i) of the Patents
Rules to decide the Appropriate Office for processing of patent application. Jurisdiction is
normally decided on the normal residential or domiciled address or place of business of
the applicant or of the FIRST MENTIONED APPLICANT, in case of joint applicants or the
place from where the invention actually originated
To check the jurisdiction of the applicant who has no place of business or domicile in
India. The address for service in India, as given by the applicant, is to be taken into
consideration for deciding the Appropriate Office.
To check whether the address for service has been provided in the application. If not, the
Controller has no obligation to proceed further (Controller may take suo moto decision in
the matter) (Rule 5 ) To check whether any request has been made for post-dating of the
provisional specification. Post-dating is allowed for a maximum period of 6 months (Sec –
17(1)).
To check whether the complete specification is filed within 12 months from the date of
filing of provisional specification as specified in section 9(1) of the Act. The 12-month
period for filing the complete specification after provisional specification is not
extendable.
To check whether the complete specification is filed within 12 months from the earliest
provisional specification when the same applicant has filed more than one provisional
specifications in respect of inventions which are cognate or of which one is modification of
the another and the whole of such inventions are such as to constitute a single invention
(Sec – 9(2)).
To check whether the complete specification is filed within 12 months from the earlier
complete specification filed which was treated as provisional specification under the
provisions of section 9 (3) of the Act.
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It is to be noted that there is no provision for filing provisional specification or making a
request to convert the complete specification to provisional specification in respect of the
applications filed under convention and national phase entry via PCT system.
To check whether a Power of Attorney or a General Power of Attorney in original has been
filed and whether the patent agent is authorized to practice before the patent office on
behalf of the applicant(s). Self-attested photocopy of a General Power of Attorney is also
admissible provided, an indication to the earlier patent application with which the original
GPA is attached , has been submitted.
To check whether Declaration as to Inventorship (Form –5) has been filed along with the
complete specification filed after filing provisional specification or along with the
complete specification filed under convention application or along with the complete
specification filed as PCTNP application under PCT route, as the case may be.
To check whether Proof of Right to make an application has been filed as specified in
Section 7(2) of the Patents Act along with the application (even at the time of filing
provisional application) except in the cases where the inventor(s) is(are) applicant(s) by
himself (themselves).
To check whether Form - 3 has been filed along with the patent application or within a
period as specified under section 8 of the Patents Act.
To check whether the application has been published under the provisions of Section 11 A
If the application is published before the period of 18 months from the date of filing the
application, a check has to be made whether the request in Form – 9 has been filed for
early publication, along with the requisite fee and , whether the application has been
published after taking Form – 9 on record.
To make cross reference(s), if any, on the file covers of co-pending applications (cognate
type, divisional and parent applications) The related applications shall be sent together
physically to examiners
A check is to be made whether the request for examination (Form- 18) has been filed
along with the requisite fee and by whom it was filed. If form 18 has been filed by a
person other than the applicant it is to be examined whether that person is the ‘person
interested’ as defined in Section 2(1)(t) of the Patents Act.
It also needs to be checked as to how many priorities are claimed and whether the
requisite fee has been paid or not
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3.2.1
Timelines of filing documents and RQs, Forms and fee, right to file, priority rights
etc.
The time line as provided in the Act and Rules has been suitably incorporated in
Annexure-I.
3.3 Substantive examination
The examiners to whom the application is referred to under section 12 conducts examination of
the patent application together with the complete specification and the other documents
related there with for making report in respect of matters as mentioned in section 12(1)[(a) to
(d)] to the Controller. The examiner ascertains whether any lawful ground of objections exists to
the grant of patent under the statute.
3.3.1
Understanding the invention
The Complete Specification describing the invention is a techno-legal document. It
should fully and particularly describe the invention and the method by which it is to
be performed i.e. the description of the method or the instructions for the working of
the invention as contained in the complete specification are by themselves sufficient,
full and particular to enable a person in India possessing average skill in, and average
knowledge of, the art to which the invention relates, to work the invention. It is also
essential that the best method for performing the invention, which is known to the
applicant is disclosed in the Complete Specification [S. (10) (4)].
If the applicant mentions biological material in the invention and it is not possible to
describe the same in the complete specification in the manner described in clauses (a)
and (b) of section 10(4), and if such material is not available to public, the
requirement of sufficiency of disclosure shall be completed by depositing such
material in an International Depository Authority under the Budapest Treaty. The
same shall be deposited not later than the date of filing, however, the reference
number to the deposit shall be made in the specification within 3 months from the
date of filing the application.
The complete specification shall contain the details of such deposition and the source
and geographical origin of the biological material.
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The technical advance, synergistic effect and efficacy of the claimed invention must be
substantiated properly in the body of specification as well as by way of suitable
examples.
3.3.2
Sufficiency of disclosure:
In Press Metal Corporation Limited V. Noshir Sorabji Pochkhanawalla (1982 PTC 259
(Bom)), it was held that – “It is the duty of a patentee to state clearly and distinctly the
nature and limits of what he claims. If the language used by the patentee is obscure
and ambiguous, no patent can be granted, and it is immaterial whether the obscurity
in the language is due to design or carelessness or want of skill. It is undoubtedly true
that the language used in describing an invention would depend upon the class of
person versed in the art and who intend to act upon the specifications. In the present
case, the invention is described in an obscure and ambiguous language, and on this
ground, the patent is liable to be refused”.
Also the applicant is required to disclose the source and geographical origin of such
materials as used in the invention, subject to provisions of section 10(4). For details
please refer to the guidelines on biotech and Traditional Knowledge.
The description should not contain passages which confuse the scope of the
invention.
Where particular description or drawings do not exemplify the invention claimed, for
example, where they are included by way of explaining the invention or for
comparison or where they relate to prior art, the description should make this clear.
Technical or Specialized Terms
The description should be as clear and straightforward as possible, with the avoidance
of unnecessary technical jargon. Since it is addressed to persons skilled in the art, it
will be desirable that for its use by him the technical terms which are well known in
that art should be used. Little known or specially formulated technical terms may be
used provided they are adequately defined and that there is no generally recognised
equivalent.
Foreign terms may be used only where there is no English equivalent.
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Terms already having an established meaning should not be used differently, if this is
likely to cause confusion. But in some circumstances it may be appropriate for a term to
be borrowed from an analogous art.
The use of proper names or similar words to refer to materials or articles is undesirable
in so far as such words merely denote origin, or where they may relate to a range of
different products. The product should be sufficiently identified, without reliance on the
word, to enable the invention to be carried out by the skilled person. Such words which
have generally accepted meanings as standard descriptive terms may however be used
without further explanation; examples are Bowden cable, Belleville washer, zip
fastener.
A trade name or mark should not be used in a specification since it is an indication of
origin rather than of composition or content and on that account cannot properly be
used to describe an article. If a registered trade mark is used it should generally be
accompanied by wording showing that it is a trade mark, since its use as a descriptive
term without acknowledgement may be prejudicial to the rights of its owner.
3.3.3
Understanding the scope of claims
Claims are considered to be the most important part of the patent document. In a
complete specification the description is followed by the Statement of Claims which
define the boundary of the protection intended to by the applicant. Since the claims
constitute the legal part for claiming the protection of the patent rights, it is imperative
that the claims should be examined thoroughly to ensure that they are limited to the
features which constitute the invention. It is expected that the claims are drafted to
cover all the aspects of the protection being sought.
The following points may be observed while examining the claims:
(a) A claim is the statement of technical facts expressed in legal terms defining the
scope of the invention sought to be protected. Claims define the boundaries of legal
protection sought by the patentee and form a protective fence around the invention
which is defined by the words and phrases in the claims. What is not claimed in the
‘claims’ stands disclaimed, and falls open to the public domain, even if the matter is
disclosed in the description.
(b) Each claim should be in a single sentence and should be clearly worded
(c) Claim(s) should be clear, succinct and should not involve unnecessary repetition and
claim (s) should not be verbose.
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(d) Each claim is evaluated on its own merit and, therefore, if one of the claims is
objected, it does not mean that the rest of the claims are invalid. It is therefore
important to make claims on all of the invention to ensure that the applicant gets the
widest possible protection.
Scope of Claims:
As the value of a patent depends largely upon the scope of the claims, special care is
necessary to ensure that the claims are not allowed to include either more or less than
what the applicant desires to protect by his patent and must be fairly based on the
matter disclosed in the specification. Therefore, claims must not be too extensive so as
to embrace more than what the applicant has disclosed in the complete specification. A
claim, which is too wide, may encroach upon the subject matter, which may be in
public domain or belong to others.
Passages which confuse the scope of the invention or claims that are unspecific (e.g.
those claiming “Any novel matter...” ) is prejudicial to clarity of claims.
A claim shall be for the protection of either a product or process or apparatus or all of
them, as the case may be, and shall be in one sentence according to the standard
practice.
Attributes of claims:
a. The description of invention in the complete specification is to be followed by a
“statement of claims” proceeded by the prescribed preamble, “I or we claim” as the
case may be.
b. Claims should start from a fresh page after full description of the invention with the
claims serially numbered.
c. There is no restriction to the number of claims to be incorporated in the
specification. But the applicant has to pay additional fee, if there are more than ten
claims. (See the First Schedule)
d. A claim (s) of a complete specification shall relate to a single invention, or to a group
of inventions linked so as to form a single inventive concept and, shall be clear and
succinct and fairly based on the matter disclosed in the specification (section 10 (5)).
e. A claim must be clear, complete and fully supported by description. A claim must be
clear in the sense that it should not cause the reader to speculate about the scope of
the claim. For example, if the words like “thin”, “strong”, “a major part”, “such as”,
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“when required” or “any” are used, then it forces the reader to make a subjective
judgment and not an objective observation, unless such expression follows any definite
values.
f. A claim must be specific and not vague, ambiguous, speculative or hypothetical in
nature. Each claim should be complete so that it covers the inventive feature and
enough elements around it to put the invention in the proper context.
g. Trade marks / Trade names are not permitted in claims.
Structure of Claims
a) A claim usually consists of three parts:
- Introductory phrase,
- Body of the claim, and
- Link that joins the two segments.
b) The introductory phrase identifies the category of the invention and sometimes the
purpose (For example, a machine for waxing paper, a composition for fertilizing soil).
c) The body of the claim is the specific legal description of the exact invention, which is
sought to be protected.
d) The linking consists of words and phrases such as:
- Which comprises
- Including
-Consisting of
-Consisting essentially of
For Example: In the following example, “A data input device” is the introductory phrase,
“comprising” is the linking word, and the rest of the claim is the body. “A data input
device comprising; an input surface adapted to be locally exposed to a pressure or
pressure force, a sensor means disposed below the input surface for detecting the
position of the pressure or pressure force on the input surface and for outputting an
output signal representing said position and; an evaluating means for evaluating the
output signal of the sensor means.”
e) If the invention is an improvement to an existing product, the claims should set the
boundary very clearly by characterizing the invention with respect to the prior art. In
those cases, the claim will have two parts separated by the word ‘characterized by’ or
‘wherein’. The part coming before ‘characterized by’ is the prior art while that comes
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after will be the features of the invention. It is equally applicable in the case of a
process which is modification of the existing process. f) Structure of Claims should be
on the following lines:
i) Independent Claim: This is the first claim which is also called the ‘Principal Claim’
should clearly define the essential novel features of the most preferred embodiment of
the process, apparatus, device or the product that constitutes the invention and should
be properly characterized with respect to the ‘prior art’, defining all the technical
features essential to the invention or inventive concept. This should include the core
integers as well as sufficient details of interrelationship, operation or utility to establish
that the invention achieves the intended objectives and
ii) Dependent Claim(s): Dependent claims should be clubbed with the independent
claims (or within themselves) to include all the features of the independent claim with
additional non-essential features and even the minute aspects and optional features.
iii) Further independent claims are only justified where the inventive concept covers
more than one category, e.g. apparatus, process, product, complementary versions
within one category constituting unity of invention, e.g. plug and socket, transmitter
and receiver, which work only together. Therefore, wherever possible, claims should
not contain:-• Multiple unrelated inventions
• Dependent claims that are not fully limited by the terms of the preceding
independent claim, e.g. dependent claims which omit or substitute a feature of an
independent claim.
Certain statements are not to be regarded as claims :
i) The statements of the following form given are not to be regarded as claims, in as
much as, they do not define the invention:a) I claim to be the inventor of this appliance,
b) I claim a patent and that no one else shall use my invention without leave.
c) I claim that the machine described above is quite new and has never been seen or
used before.
d) I claim some reward.
ii) Also, the claims should not be made, as in the examples given below, for illustrating
the efficiency or advantages of the invention:-
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a) I claim that this device is better and cheaper and more effectual than anything
known.
b) I claim that my process or machine will do such and such things.
c) I claim the following advantages.
d) I claim an improved sewing machine.
e) I claim a mechanism for converting heat into electrical energy without any loss of
efficiency.
f) I claim a new method of making silk waterproof.
iii) Where products are claimed, the invention will not be properly defined if merely the
properties of the products are referred to, as in the following example:“I claim a lubricating oil which is of specific gravity…. and boiling point.”
iv) The claims, such as “I claim an improved sewing machine as described or as
illustrated ”or “ I claim the invention described in the specification”, which merely refer
back to the description are not sufficiently definitive.
3.3.4
Single inventive concept
Section 10(5) mandates that the claim/ claims of the complete specification shall relate
to a single invention, or to a group of inventions linked so as to form a single inventive
concept. The MANUAL OF PATENT OFFICE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, at 05.03.16
allows that there may be more than one independent claim in a single application if the
claims fall under a single inventive concept. In the Manual, it has been advised “While
there is no restriction as to the number of claims, including independent claims, it is
advisable to limit the number of claims, as well as the number of independent claims in
a single application so that the claims are linked so as to form a single inventive
concept. If claims relate to a plurality of distinct inventions, it may be objected on
ground of lack of unity of invention”.
In other words when there is a group of inventions in a specification they should be
linked by a single concept which is inventive or there should be a technical relationship
among the claimed inventions, which makes the inventive contribution over the prior
art. To fulfil the requirement of unity of invention each claim of a complete
specification should share a single common technical relationship which is inventive.
The single common technical relationship which is inventive is called the “special
technical feature”. This determination should be done on the content of the claims
supported by the description in the light of the prior art.
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Unity of invention is present only when there is a “technical relationship” among the
claimed inventions involving one or more of the same or corresponding “special
technical features.” The expression “special technical features” means those technical
features that define a contribution which each of the claimed inventions, considered as
a whole, makes over the prior art. The determination whether a group of inventions is
so linked as to form a single inventive concept is made without regard to whether the
inventions are claimed in separate claims or as alternatives within a single claim.
Lack of unity may be evident in an application in the following ways:
`A priori’, i.e., before consideration of prior art, if the claims falling in different groups
do not share a same or corresponding technical feature.
`A posteriori’, i.e., after a search of the prior art, if the shared technical feature fails to
make a inventive contribution over the prior art.
Lack of unity of invention may be directly evident “a priori,” that is, before considering
the claims in relation to any prior art, or may only become apparent “a posteriori,” that
is, after taking the prior art into consideration.
For example, independent claims to A + X, A + Y, X + Y can be said to lack unity a priori
as there is no subject matter common to all claims. In the case of independent claims to
A + X and A + Y, unity of invention is present a priori as A is common to both claims.
However, if it can be established that A is known, there is lack of unity a posteriori,
since A (be it a single feature or a group of features) is not a technical feature that
defines a contribution over the prior art.
Examples
A single inventive concept may be recognized between independent claims of different
categories as in the following examples:
(a) a claim for a product and claim for a process specially adapted for manufacture of
the product;
(b) a claim for a process and claim for an apparatus or means specifically designed for
carrying out the process;
(c) a claim for a product, claim for a process specially adapted for manufacture of the
product and claim for an apparatus or means specifically designed for carrying out the
process. However, the above criteria cannot be generalized and there may be occasions
where all such claims may not be allowed in a single application based on the
circumstances of the case
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(d) Unity between product and process claims requires that the process inherently
results in the product when the novel product is obtained by the claimed process.
(e) Unity between process and apparatus or means requires that the apparatus or
means have been specifically designed for carrying the process, or at least a step of the
process, but without excluding any other possible use.
In the above examples product is considered as the special technical feature however
if it is not novel, inventive over the prior art the product , process and apparatus
cannot coexist in a single patent application, failing the Single inventive criterion.
(f) Single inventive concept is permitted if the invention cannot readily be covered by a
single generic claim.
3.4 Patentability criterion novelty, inventive step, industrial applicability
3.4.1
Novelty of Invention
General Principle:
An invention is considered new (novel) if it has not been anticipated by publication in any
document anywhere in the world, or prior claimed in an application for patent in India, or
form part of the knowledge, oral or otherwise, available within any local or indigenous
community in India or elsewhere, or used; before the date of filing of patent application or
date of priority, whichever is earlier, that is, the subject matter has not fallen in the public
domain or that it does not form part of the state of the art. Followings are the general
principles relating assessment of Novelty:
a) An invention is considered as new if it is not anticipated by prior publication, prior use
or prior public knowledge. An invention is new (novel) if it has not been disclosed in
the prior art, where the prior art means everything that has been published, presented
or otherwise disclosed to the public before the date of filing of complete specification.
b) For the purpose of determining novelty, an application for Patent filed at the Indian
Patent Office before the date of filing of complete specification of a later filed
application but published after the same is considered for the purposes of prior
claiming.
c) While ascertaining novelty, the Examiner takes into consideration, inter alia, the
following documents:
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which have been published before the date of filing of complete specification.
such Indian Patent Applications which have been filed before the date of filing of
complete specification and published on or after the date of filing of the complete
specification, but claims the same subject matter.
also the Examiner may consider such documents which have been published
before in a transaction of a learned society or exhibited before in an authorized
manner as designated by the Government within one year from the date of such
filing.
d) A prior art will be considered as anticipatory if all the features of the invention under
examination are present in the cited prior art.
e) The prior art should disclose the invention either in explicit or implicit manner.
f)
Mosaicing of prior art documents is not followed in the determination of novelty.
g) A generic disclosure in the prior art may not necessarily take away the novelty of a
specific disclosure.
h) A specific disclosure in the prior art takes away the novelty of a generic disclosure.
i)
In a case where a prior art is cited as an anticipation in the Examination Report, which
is not deemed to be an anticipation by reason on Section 29-34, the onus of proving is
on the applicant.
Determination of Novelty:
Concept
In order to establish the novelty of an invention, search for anticipation by previous
publication and by prior claim in relation to the subject matter of the invention for which the
patent has been applied for is conducted by the examiner in the patent and non-patent
literature to ascertain whether the invention has been anticipated by previous publication
and prior claiming. This is a part of office action by the Patent Office towards conducting
examination of patent applications.
An invention defined in a claim lacks novelty if the specified combination of features has
already been anticipated in a previous disclosure.
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In order to demonstrate lack of novelty, the anticipatory disclosure must be entirely
contained within a single document either explicitly or implicitly.
If more than one
document is cited, each must stand on its own, or the documents so cited are linked in
such a manner so that they form a continuous document .The cumulative effect of the
disclosures cannot be taken into consideration nor can the lack of novelty be established
by forming a mosaic of elements taken from several documents. This may be done only
when arguing obviousness.
In OA/8/2009/PT/CH [250/2012] IPAB held - “to defeat novelty, the appellant should show
that an earlier document, disclosed all that the patentee is seeking to patent. And that each
limitation of the claimed invention is found in a single prior art reference. The appellant has
not done this. So the attack on novelty is rejected.”
In the matter of Graf & CIE AG and Maschinenfabrik Rieter Ag v. Nitto Shoji Limited during
pre-grant opposition proceedings of Application No. 422/Cal/2000 under section 25(1), the
Controller held, “..a prior art drawing may be taken into consideration as a prior art
disclosure if it discloses the essential features of the impugned claim in a sufficiently and
clearly understandable manner to a skilled person and also if the drawing is such that it
provides an enabling disclosure either explicitly or implicitly.”
A matter is considered as part of the state of the art on the date if it first becomes available
to the public, wherever in the world that may be, and in whatever manner or language the
disclosure is made. There is no limit on the age of the disclosure.
Different claims may have different priority dates and the documents should be cited
accordingly.
Any document is regarded as having been published, and thus forming part of the state of
the art, if it can be inspected as of right by the public, whether on payment of a fee
or not; this includes, for example, the contents of the ‘open’ part of the file of a patent
application once the application has been published.
Prior publication does not however depend on the degree of dissemination. The
communication to a single member of the public without any obligation of secrecy cast upon
him amounts to making the communication available to the public.
If a claim specifies alternatives or defines the invention by reference to a range of values
(e.g. of composition, temperature, etc), then the invention is not new if one of these
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alternatives, or if a single example falling within this range, is already known. Thus, a
specific example is sufficient to destroy the novelty of a claim to the same thing defined
generically. For example, disclosure of a metal coil spring anticipates a claim to resilient
means. On the other hand, a generic disclosure does not impugn the novelty of a more
specific claim, so that an earlier reference to a metal coil spring cannot be used to
attack the novelty of a claim specifying such a spring made of copper. In some cases,
however, the disclosure of a comparatively small and restricted field of possible alternatives
might properly be held to be a disclosure of each and every member; for example, ‘fluid’
may be taken to disclose both liquid and gas, if the context warrants it, and a reference to an
electric motor may be regarded as disclosing the use of both series and shunt-wound types.
An invention relating to preventing knocking signals in which the metering system in an
engine is designed to meter the quantity of the air-fuel mixture to be supplied depending on
the signal indicating which fuel is currently in operation is anticipated by a document in
which suction air quantity is restricted by making the upper value of throttle valve opening
to accelerator automatically smaller when it is so judged that knocking is in such a condition
as liable to occur in case of using low octane rating fuel or the like.
Illustrative Cases
1. An invention relating to preventing knocking signals in which the metering system in
an engine is designed to meter the quantity of the air-fuel mixture to be supplied
depending on the signal indicating which fuel is currently in operation wherein the
metering system is designed to reduce injection of fresh air by a butterfly valve
located in the fresh air supply line or secondary pressure of a charger or compressor
located in the fresh air supply line is anticipated by a document in which suction air
quantity is restricted by making the upper value of a throttle valve opening to
accelerator automatically smaller when it is so judged that knocking is in such a
condition as liable to occur in case of using low octane rating fuel or the like.
2. An invention relating to a trailing arm with anti-roll bar suspension system for
transferring lesser shocking forces to the chassis to improve the comfort of passenger
and rider by having forward portions secured to brackets at first pivotal connections
by threaded fasteners and antiroll bar consisting of tubes and reinforcement tubes
welded to the trailing arm is anticipated by a document in which forward portion is
pivotally supported by the frame and secured to brackets at first pivotal connections
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by threaded fasteners & also disclosing an antiroll bar consisting of tubes and
reinforcement tubes welded to trailing arm through antiroll bar support plate.
3. In the matter of M/s. Crompton Greaves Ltd. Mumbai v. M/s. Bharat Heavy Electricals
Ltd. Hyderabad, on patent application No.221/BOM/96 (184657), it was held by the
Controller that the ground that the invention was publicly known or publicly used in
India was not established by the opponent since the photo copies submitted by the
opponent stated mainly the terms and conditions of a contract to supply 3900 KVA
and 5400 KVA traction transformers. The photocopies of work order did not define
any constructional features of the traction transformer. A mere statement by the
opponent company that they are the first in the field of manufacturing alone cannot
stop the applicant company from obtaining a patent unless the opponents establish
that they were manufacturing an identical product before the date of filing.
4. In the case of Monsanto company v. Coramandal Indag Products (P) Ltd. (1986) (1 SCC
642: AIR 1986 712: 1986 PTC 195 SC) it was held that the invention was publicly
known since its formula was published in the report of the International Rice Research
Institute in the year 1968 and its common name Butachlor was published in the same
report in the year 1969.
5. If the prior publication is contained in a document, it may not be necessary that
members of the public should have actually read the document. It is enough if the
document is accessible to the public without much trouble (Lallubhai Chakubhai v.
Chimanlal Chunilal & Co. A.I.R. 1936 Bom. 99).
6. An invention is deemed to be made publicly known if a document containing an
adequate description of it, whether issued as a general publication or not, has in the
course of ordinary business and without imposing any secrecy, reached an appreciable
section of the public interested in the art to which the invention relates (Decision of
the Controller (1938) Re. Patent Application No. 23077).
All limitations to be taught
1. The specification which is relied upon as an anticipation of the invention should
convey the same knowledge as the specification of the invention itself. (Pope Alliance
Corp. v. Spanish River Pulp & Paper Mills Ltd., A..I.R. 1929 P.C. 38).
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2. A document is not considered as a proper anticipation unless it gives the public the
same information as the one presented in the applicant’s specification. A mosaic of
extracts culled from several documents have not been accepted as constituting a
relevant anticipation (Decision of the Controller (1942) Re. Patent Application No.
27709).
3. A ‘mosaic’ of separate steps, each known in manufacture, is not sufficient to
constitute ‘anticipation’ as to warrant the refusal of grant of a patent, though they
may have a bearing upon the question of quantum of ingenuity which arises when a
court is called upon to consider whether there is ‘subject matter’ for a patent in the
invention (Decision of the Deputy Controller (1946) Re. Patent Application No. 32384.)
4. In Pope Alliance Corp. v. Spanish River Pulp & Paper Mills Ltd., A.I.R. 1929 P.C. 38, it
was held that in order to render a document as a prior publication, it must be shown
that it contains all that is material to instruct the public on how to put the invention in
practice.
5. As per the decision of the Controller upheld by the Central Government (1944) Re.
Patent Application No. 29089 in order to be effective prior knowledge of an invention
the prior publication should contain such information as would enable one conversant
with the art, to which the invention relates, to perceive the very discovery and to
carry it into practical use.
Prior Public Use
Prior public use of the invention before the date of filing of application destroys the novelty
of the invention. However, there is an exception to this general rule. The Act provides that if
an invention has been publicly worked in India within one year before the priority date by the
patentee or applicant for the patent or by any third person from whom he derives the title or
by the person who has obtained a consent to work the invention and such working of
invention was only for the purpose of reasonable trial and it was necessary to effect such trial
or working in public in view of the nature of the invention then such working of invention
does not anticipate the invention (Section 32).
Illustrative Cases:
1. In Lallubhai Chakubhai v. Chimanlal Chunilal & Co. A.I.R., 1936 Bom. 99, it was held
that public user did not mean a user by the public but a user in a public manner. It
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was further held that the use of an invention for purposes of trade, whether by the
inventor himself or by others, would constitute public user of the invention. It was
also held that public sale of articles is strong evidence that the user is commercial
and not experimental. But to constitute evidence of public user, the sale must be
open and in the ordinary way of business.
2. In patent application No. 23077, the Controller held that an invention should be
deemed to be publicly used if in the course of regular business (as distinguished
from experimental user), the invention has been used without observing any secrecy
about it, in any place to which persons without confidential relationship are allowed
access.
3. In Lallubhai Chakubhai v. Shamaldas Sankalchand A.I.R., 1934. Bom. 407, it was held
that if an article manufactured under a secret process is of such a character that
anybody by examining it can find out the secret of that manufacture, then the sale
of that article in public would amount to public user of the process. It was also held
that secret use of an invention by the inventor himself for experimental purposes or
the manufacture of an invention for the inventor by a manufacturer, who is under
injunction to keep the invention secret, will not make the patent invalid.
4. In Monsanto Co. v. Coromandel Indag Products (P) Ltd. 1986 A.I.R. 712, it was held
that “to satisfy the requirement of being publicly known as used in clauses (e) and (f)
of section 64(1), it is not necessary that it should widely be used to the knowledge of
the consumer public. It is sufficient if it is known to the persons who are engaged in
the pursuit of knowledge of the patented product or process either as men of
science or men of commerce or consumers.”
5. In patent application No.23077, it was held by the Controller that an invention
should be deemed to be made publicly known if a document containing an adequate
description of it, whether issued as a general publication or not, had in the course of
ordinary business and without imposing any secrecy, reached an appreciable section
of the public interested in the art to which the invention relates.
6. In patent application No.29180, it was held by the Controller that disclosure of a
document to two or more selected individuals in Government service did not appear
to be sufficient to constitute “public knowledge” of the said document.
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7. In the case of Ram Narain Kher v. Ambassador Industries, (AIR 1976 Del 87.), it was
held that at the time the patent is granted to a party it is essential that the party
claiming patent should specify what particular features of his device distinguish it
from those which had gone before and show the nature of the improvement which
is said to constitute the invention. A person claiming a patent has not only to allege
the improvement in art in the form but also that the improvement effected a new
and very useful addition to the existing state of knowledge. The novelty of the
invention has to be succinctly stated in the claim. It is no doubt true that the claim
made is addressed to the skilled persons in the art or trade and not to a common
man yet there can be no escape from the fact that the novelty of the claim or the
advantage derived by the invention has to be succinctly stated in the claim and must
not be left to an inference raised on a general review of the specification. It is
equally true that even when the invention 'was not itself new', its combination with
the other elements of the system producing the advantageous results; would be a
sufficient element of novelty to support the patent. It may be only a small step but
that may be a step forward and that is all that is necessary so far as the subjectmatter is concerned (not under the present heading of prior public use)
8. In patent application No.26209, the Controller held that prior use of machine for
profit in private premises amounts to public use within the meaning of section 9(1)
(d) of the Patents and Designs Act, 1911, if the machine is worked in the ordinary
way and under no conditions of secrecy.
9. In patent application No.27208, it was held that in proving prior use of an invention
described in a patent specification it is not enough merely to allege that a “machine
similar to the applicant’s machine” has been used, without giving a fair description
of the machine actually used.
10. In patent application No.31894, it was held that it would be most unfair to refuse a
patent to an applicant merely because his rivals alleged that they had used a device
“similar to the Applicant’s device”, if the Controller was not afforded a fair
opportunity to judge for himself whether the device alleged to have been used by
them is in fact similar to the Applicant’s device.
11. In Bilcare Limited v. Amartara (P) Ltd. (IA Nos. 10848/2006, 13971/2006 and
11160/2006 in CSOS No.1847/2006 relating to patent No.197823), it was observed,
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“whether an alleged invention involves novelty and an inventive step, is a mixed
question of law and fact, depending largely on the circumstances of the case.
Although no absolute something is missing that is informally applicable in all
circumstances can be devised, certain broad criteria can be indicated. Whether the
manner of manufacture patented was publicly known, used and practised in the
country before or at the date of the patent? If the answer to the question is ‘Yes’, it
will negate novelty or ‘subject matter’. Prior public knowledge of the alleged
invention which would disqualify the grant of patent can be by word of mouth or by
publication through books or other media. If the public once become possessed of
an invention, says Hindmarch on Patents, by any means whatsoever, no subsequent
patent for it can be granted either to the true or first inventor himself or any other
person, for the public cannot be deprived of the right to use the invention… the
public already possessing everything that he could give”.
12. The use of an invention for purposes of trade, whether by the inventor himself or
by
others, may constitute public user of the invention ( Lallubhai Chakubhai v.
Chimanlal Chunilal & Co. A.I.R. 1936 Bom. 99).
13. Public sale of an article is strong evidence that the user is commercial and not
experimental. But to constitute evidence of public user, the sale must be open and
in the ordinary way of business. ( Lallubhai Chakubhai v. Chimanlal Chunilal & Co.
A.I.R. 1936 Bom. 99).
14. In invention should be deemed to be publicly used if in the course of regular
business (as distinguished from experimental user), the invention has been used
without observing any secrecy about it, in any place to which persons without
confidential relationship are allowed access [Decision of the Controller (1938) Re.
Patent Application No. 23077].
Prior Claiming
Section 13 - Search for anticipation by previous publication and by prior claim(1)
The examiner to whom an application for a patent is referred under section 12 shall
make investigation for the purpose of ascertaining whether the invention so far as claimed in
any claim of the complete specification
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…
… … (b) is claimed in any claim of any other complete specification published on or
after the date of filing of the applicant’s complete specification, being a specification filed in
pursuance of an application for a patent made in India and dated before or claiming the
priority date earlier than that date.
In order to prove prior claiming of the invention, compliance with the following conditions is
examined:
(i)
that the application ‘X’ where the invention has been claimed in a claim prior to the
application ‘Y’ claiming alleged invention, has been filed in India
(ii) the application ‘X’ must have been filed or claiming a priority earlier to the priority date
of application ‘Y’ in question
(iii) the application’X’ should have been published on or after the date of application(‘Y’) in
question.
In the matter of application for patent No. 123140, Centron Industrial Alliance Private
Limited v. Harbans Lal Malhotra and Sons Private limited, [DPD, Vol.1, p 133], in the
Controller held that the later application (filed on 15th September, 1969) claiming a method
of manufacturing superior quality blades of razors and like instruments which consists
atomic or molecular deposition in vacuum of a thin film of particles of a corrosion resistant
material on the cutting edge or edges of the blades of the said instruments and thereafter
coating the said blade with polytetrafluoroethylene. The claimed method is anticipated by
prior claiming in an earlier application (filed on 14th March, 1969) claiming a method of
manufacturing, superior quality blades of razors and like instruments defined, which
included coating the blades with polytetrafluoroethylene, characterized in that the said
method consisted of atomic or molecular deposition in vacuum of a thin film of particles of a
corrosion resistant material on the cutting edge or edges of the blades of the said
instruments before coating the said blades with said polytetrafluoroethylene.
3.4.2
INVENTIVE STEP: Concept
Inventive step is decided in accordance with the provisions of section 2(1)(ja) of the Indian
Patents Act, 1970.
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As per 2(1)(ja), "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;
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board on inventive step and exclusions:
“When the patentee explains that there is an inventive step which is a technical advance
compared to the existing knowledge (state-of the-art) or that it has economic significance
that would not give him the right to a patent as such. ‘’The inventive step’ must be a feature
which is not an excluded subject itself. Otherwise, the patentee by citing economic
significance or technical advance in relation to any of the excluded subjects can insist upon
grant of patent thereto. Therefore, this technical advance comparison should be done with
the subject matter of invention and it should be found it is not related to any of the excluded
subjects.” 3
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on inventive step:
In Biswanath Prasad Radhey Shyam vs Hindustan Metal Industries Ltd 4 it was held that “The
expression "does not involve any inventive step" used in Section 26(1) (a) of the Act and its
equivalent word "obvious", have acquired special significance in the terminology of Patent
Law. The 'obviousness' has to be strictly and objectively judged. For this determination several
forms of the question have been suggested. The one suggested by Salmond L. J. in Rado v.
John Tye & Son Ltd. is apposite. It is: "Whether the alleged discovery lies so much out of the
Track of what was known before as not naturally to suggest itself to a person thinking on the
subject, it must not be the obvious or natural suggestion of what was previously known."
It was also observed that “Another test of whether a document is a publication which would
negative existence of novelty or an "inventive step" is suggested, as under: "Had the
document been placed in the hands of a competent craftsman (or engineer as distinguished
from a mere artisan), endowed with the common general knowledge at the 'priority date',
who was faced with the problem solved by the patentee but without knowledge of the
3 IPAB yahoo v rediffmail
4 Biswanath Prasad Radhey Shyam vs Hindustan Metal Industries Ltd (AIR 1982 SC 1444)
Page 33 of 115
patented invention, would he have said, "this gives me what I want?" (Encyclopaedia
Britannica; ibid). To put it in another form: "Was it for practical purposes obvious to a skilled
worker, in the field concerned, in the state of knowledge existing at the date of the patent to
be found in the literature then available to him, that he would or should make the invention
the subject of the claim concerned ?" 5
Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on inventive step:
In the F.Hoffman la Roche v Cipla 6 case the Hon’ble Delhi High Court had observed that the
obviousness test is what is laid down in Biswanath Prasad Radhey Shyam vs Hindustan Metal
Industries Ltd (AIR 1982 SC 1444) 7and that “Such observations made in the foreign judgments
are not the guiding factors in the true sense of the term as to what qualities that person
skilled in the art should possess. The reading of the said qualities would mean qualifying the
said statement and the test laid down by the Supreme Court.”
Hon’ble High Court further added “From the bare reading of the afore quoted observations of
Supreme Court, it is manifest that the Hon'ble Supreme Court has laid down the test for the
purposes of ascertaining as to what constitutes an inventive step which is to be seen from the
standpoint of technological advancement as well as obviousness to a person who is skilled in
the art. It is to be emphasized that what is required to be seen is that the invention should not
be obvious to the person skilled in art. These are exactly the wordings of New Patents Act,
2005 u/s Section 2(ja) as seen above. Therefore, the same cannot be read to mean that there
has to exist other qualities in the said person like unimaginary nature of the person or any
other kind of person having distinct qualities…….. Normal and grammatical meaning of the
said person who is skilled in art would presuppose that the said person would have the
knowledge and the skill in the said field of art and will not be unknown to a particular field of
art and it is from that angle one has to see that if the said document which is prior patent if
placed in the hands of the said person skilled in art whether he will be able to work upon the
same in the workshop and achieve the desired result leading to patent which is under
challenge. If the answer comes in affirmative, then certainly the said invention under
challenge is anticipated by the prior art or in other words, obvious to the person skilled in art
as a mere workshop result and otherwise it is not. The said view propounded by Hon'ble
5 Biswanath Prasad Radhey Shyam vs Hindustan Metal Industries Ltd (AIR 1982 SC 1444)
6 F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd vs Cipla Ltd., Mumbai Central, ... on 7 September, 2012
7 Biswanath Prasad Radhey Shyam vs Hindustan Metal Industries Ltd (AIR 1982 SC 1444)
Page 34 of 115
Supreme Court in Biswanath Prasad (supra) holds the field till date and has been followed
from time to time by this Court till recently without any variance….. Therefore, it is proper and
legally warranted to apply the same very test for testing the patent; be it any kind of patent. It
would be improper to import any further doctrinal approach by making the test modified or
qualified what has been laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in of Biswanath Prasad
(supra).”
Accordingly the following points need to be objectively judged to ascertain whether the
invention does have inventive step or not:
1. Identify the inventive concept of the claim in question;
2. Identify the "person skilled in the art", i.e competent craftsman or engineer as
distinguished from a mere artisan;
3. Identify the relevant common general knowledge of that person at the priority date;
4. Identify what, if any, differences exist between the matter cited as forming part of the
"state of the art" and the inventive concept of the claim or the claim as construed;
Viewed without any knowledge of the alleged invention as claimed, do those differences
constitute steps which would have been obvious to the person skilled in the art or do they
require any degree of inventive ingenuity?
Illustrative case laws:
1. In the case of application No. IN/PCT/2002/00020/DEL, it was concluded under section
25(1), that invention as claimed in finally revised claims 1 to 49 in the patent application
did not involve any "inventive step" having regard to the prior art citations JP-8059512
published on 5th March, 1996 and US Patent 5,885,617 published on 23rd March, 1999.
Therefore, it could not be considered as an invention under section 2(l)(j) of the Patents
Act, as it is a mere admixture and therefore not patentable under section 3(e) of the
Patents Act. It was held that “the selection of particular range of ingredients from the
ranges already known prior art in this case cannot amount to establish the inventive step
and the variations in the amounts of the known ingredients appear merely workshop
improvements achieved by a person skilled in the art without performing any substantial
experiments and cannot be said a technical advancement of an existing knowledge which
is required by the definition of the "inventive step" as mentioned in section 2(l)(ja) of the
Patents Act, 1970.” For the ground under section 3(e), it was held that “the existence of
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already known characteristics of composition with known ingredients cannot be termed
as synergy among the ingredients of claimed composition”
2. In the case of Patent No. 173953 (223/BOM/1991), the invention was related to “process
for making a soap composition contains glycerol”. Opposition was lodged on the grounds
of prior publication, prior public knowledge, and obviousness, not an invention within the
meaning of the Act and also for not sufficiently defining the invention. It was held that the
ingredients recited in the principal claim had a very specific and narrow range of
proportions, which were not taught by cited documents. Cited document did not teach
how to obtain the right balance of salt and glycerol in order to avoid a soap which is too
hard or too soft. Also, in the cited documents there was no mention of balancing the
quantities of glycerol or salt against the quantities of total fatty matter. Therefore, the
opponents failed to establish the grounds.
3. In the case of Patent No. 183455 (203/BOM/1997), the invention related to a process for
preparation of injectable Nimesulide composition. Opposition was lodged on the ground
of obviousness, among other grounds such as prior publication and prior public
knowledge. In view of the cited Sri Lankan Patent, the alleged invention stood anticipated
as the cited document disclosed the invention or disclose information in such a way as to
make it part of the state of the art. The claim lacked in novelty if information about
anything falling within its scope had already been disclosed in the prior art. Thus, for
example, if a claim specified alternative, or defined the invention by reference of range of
values, then the invention was not new if one of these alternatives, or if a single example
falling within this range, was already known. Thus a specific example was sufficient to
destroy the novelty of a claim when the same is defined generically. The grant of patent
was refused on the above grounds.
4. In the case of Ajay Industrial Corporation v. Shiro Kamas of Iberaki City (AIR 1983 Del
496.), the specification and claims had all to be read together and reasonably and
benevolently construed. In the
absence of any technical or expert evidence either
indicating that these statements were wrong or that the article produced incorporated no
new devices to get over these defects, it could not be held that the patent embodied no
new discovery or invention. It was held that the appellant had not discharged the onus
that lay on it to establish that the respondent's patent could not have been registered
and, therefore, needed to be revoked.
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5. In Franz Zaver Huemer v. New Yesh Engineers, (1996 PTC (16) 164 Del.) the court
observed that the plaintiff was not an inventor of the patent device as the device was
already being used in machines for several years in several countries especially in India.
The defendant had set out several details to show that the machines were already being
manufactured for over one and a half decade vide para 9 to 16 of the affidavit, leading to
an inference that there was nothing new in the plaintiff's device. The court also observed
that arrangement or rearrangement of the already known device did not amount to an
invention.
6. In Surendra Lai Mahendra v. Jain Glazers [1981 PTC 112 Del ] it was held that the
plaintiff's patent was nothing more than an indigenous combination of certain integers
which formed part of Morance machine designed to be a less expensive and cheaper
apparatus. The court observed that while it might be termed as simplification of the
apparatus to some extent but it was difficult ex facie to say that it involved an exercise of
inventive step or inventive faculty. The applicant had produced a workable machine but it
incorporated almost all the integers and components of Morance machine. So it could not
be said that he had added a scintilla of invention to produce the same. On his own
showing the plaintiff had to handle a couple of Morance machines which were not found
to be workable in India and therefore, his services had to be secured by the parties
concerned as a skilled technician to put the same in working order. The court, therefore,
noted that the plaintiff after having tried his hand on Morance machines, was able to
devise an apparatus of his own by virtually copying the same process and making some
alterations and adjustments here and there so as to obviate the necessity of sophisticated
and costly integers used by Morance.
3.4.3
Industrial Applicability: Concept
The third criteria of patentability are that the invention should be capable of industrial
application. It is defined in Section 2 (1) (ac) of the Patents Act, 1970.
Section 2 (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.
If the subject matter is devoid of industrial application it does not satisfy the definition of
“invention” for the purpose of the Act. Ordinarily, "Industry" is taken in its broad sense as
including any useful and practical, as distinct from intellectual or aesthetic activity. It
does not necessarily imply the use of a machine or the manufacture of a product and covers
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such thing as a process for dispersing fog or a process of converting energy from one form to
another.
Vague and speculative indication of possible objectives that might or might not be
achievable by carrying out further research with the tool as described may not be sufficient
for fulfilment of the requirement of industrial applicability. The purpose of granting a patent
is not to reserve an unexplored field of research for an applicant.
Methods of testing are generally regarded as capable of industrial application if the test is
applicable to the improvement or control of a product, apparatus or process which itself is
capable of industrial application. It is therefore advisable to indicate the purpose of the test
if this is not otherwise apparent.
Processes or articles alleged to operate in a manner which is clearly contrary to wellestablished physical laws, such as perpetual motion machines, are regarded as not having
industrial application.
An invention for a method of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy
or of diagnosis practised on the human or animal body is not taken to be capable of
industrial application.
Parts /pieces of the human or animal body to be used in transplants are objected as
not being capable of industrial application.
Illustrations:
The requirement that the invention can be made or used “in any kind of industry” so
as to be “capable of industrial application” carries the connotation of trade or
manufacture in its widest sense and whether or not for profit and further, that no
industry exists in that sense to make or use that which is useless for any known
purpose.
There must be a product, but this need not be an article or substance, but must be
something in which a new and useful effect, be it creation or alteration, may be
observed. It may, for example, be a building, attract or stratum of land, an electrical
oscillation, but it must be useful in practical affairs. A method of eradicating weeds
was held to give rise to a product (an improved crop) because this was an artificially
created state of affairs; moreover it was one whose significance was economic.
An application relating to a scheme for exchanging all or part of a prison sentence
for corporal punishment was held to lack industrial applicability and also to be a
method for doing business.
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A method for effecting introductions with a view to making friends was held not to
be industrially applicable, even though it could be carried out by a commercial
enterprise. It was also found to be excluded as a method of doing business. In a
patent for a photo-booth camera was held that the folded optical path as described
and claimed could not give rise to the claimed narrowing of the depth of field. As a
result, the hearing officer held that the invention could not work as described and
claimed, and so lacked industrial applicability.
3.5 Inventions not patentable
Section 3: What are not inventions.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;
(b) 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 environment;
(c) the mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory or
discovery of any living thing or non-living substances occurring in nature;
(d) the mere discovery of a new form of a substance which does not result in the enhancement
of a known efficacy of that substance or the mere discovery of a new property or new use of
a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product
or employs at least one new reactant.
Explanation: For the purpose of this clause, salts, easters, 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 substance;
(f) the mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning
independently of one another in a known way;
Omitted.
(h) a method of agriculture or horticulture;
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(i) any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic, diagnostic, therapeutic or
other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals to render
them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products.
(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;
(l)
a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation
whatsoever including cinematographic works and television productions;
(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;
(p)
an invention which in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or
duplication of known properties or traditionally known component or components.
The section “Inventions - non-patentable” describes certain products and processes, which are
not to be regarded as patentable inventions as per the Act. These statutory exclusions are
illustrated in the following paragraphs.
3(a) “An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well
established laws
Some examples of a frivolous nature and contrary to natural laws are:A machine purporting to produce perpetual motion.
A machine alleged to be giving output without any input.
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“A method of showing time on the basis of metric system” wherein dial of time piece
having three hands for indicating, hour, minutes and seconds was divided into 10
parts for hours, each hour into 100 minutes and each minute into 100 seconds. The
invention was held frivolous and not considered a patentable invention. (Indian
patent application No. 101/Bom/72).
Merely making in one piece, articles previously made in two or more pieces is
frivolous. Mere usefulness is not sufficient [Indian Vacuum Brake’ Company Ltd v.
Laurd (AIR 1962, Cal 152)].
A machine allegedly giving 100% performance.
3(b) “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 environment.”
Some examples are:
Any device, apparatus or machine or method for committing theft/burglary,
Any machine or method for counterfeiting of currency notes,
Any device or method for gambling,
(ii) Inventions, the established or intended use or commercial exploitation of which is found
to be injurious to public, animal or plant life or health, such as, a method of adulteration of
food.
(iii) An invention, the present or intended use of which is likely to violate the well accepted
and settled social, cultural, legal norms of morality, e.g. method of cloning,
(iv)
An invention, the primary or proposed use of which would disturb the public order
e.g. a device for house-breaking.
(v) Adequate care should be taken while examining the inventions vis-à-vis their primary or
intended use or commercial exploitation and it should be carefully dealt so that the subjectmatter must not be contrary to public order, morality or causes serious prejudice to human,
animal or plant life or health or to the environment. A few non limiting examples may further
clarify the issues: (a) a process for cloning human beings or animals; (b) a process for
modifying the germ line of human beings; (c) a process for modifying the genetic identity of
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animals which are likely to cause them suffering without any substantial medical or other
benefit to man or animal, and also animals resulting from such process; (d) a process for
preparing seeds or other genetic materials comprising elements which might cause adverse
environmental impact; (e) uses of human embryos for commercial exploitation.
3(c) “The mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory or
discovery of any living thing or non-living substances occurring in nature”
There is a difference between discovery and invention. A discovery adds to the amount of
human knowledge by disclosing something already existent, which has not been seen before,
whereas an invention adds to the human knowledge by creating a new product or processes
involving a technical advance as compared to the existing knowledge.
A claim for discovery of scientific principle is not considered patentable, but such a principle
when used with process of manufacture resulting into a substance or an article may be
patentable.
A scientific theory is a statement about the natural world. These theories themselves are not
considered patentable, no matter how radical or revolutionary an insight they may provide,
since they do not result in a product or process. However, if the theories lead to practical
application in the process of manufacture of article or substance, they may well be
patentable. A claim for formulation of abstract theory is not patentable. For example, the fact
that a known material or article is found to have a hitherto unknown property is a
discovery and not an invention. But if the discovery leads to the conclusion that the
material can be used for making a particular article or in a particular process, then the
article or process could be patentable.
Examples:
1. Claim: A compound for cardiac disorder related activity, wherein the compound is obtained
from the cerebrospinal fluid of horseshoe crab, Tachypleusgigas.
Analysis: The subject-matter is not patentable under Section 3 (c) of the Act, because the
application attempts to claim a compound, which is isolated from cerebrospinal fluid of
embryos of horseshoe crab, Tachypleusgigas(i.e. a compound which is nonliving substance
occurring in nature). As per Section 3 (c) of the Act, a non-living substance occurring in nature
is statutorily non-patentable subject-matter.
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2. Invention: An extract of Calotrophis gigantea containing cardiac glycosides having
antineoplastic effect, which exhibit in vitro cytotoxic activity on human carcinoma cell line
without exhibiting cytotoxicity on a normal human cell line, wherein the extract is effective
against human lung carcinoma cell line A549 and human colon adenocarcinoma cell line
COL0205 without showing cytotoxicity on a normal human cell line W138.
Analysis: The claimed extract of C. gigantea containing cardiac glycosidesis statutorily
excluded from patentability under Section 3 (c) of the Act, as being directed to a discovery of
non-living substance occurring in nature.
Examples on section 3(c):
A method of increasing the cooling effect in a heat exchanger by increasing the length of the
coolant tubes is not patentable but an heat exchanger with coolant tubes arranged in a zigzag
manner instead of straight line can be patentable if other criteria of patentability is satisfied.
Finding out that a particular known material is able to withstand mechanical shock is a
discovery and therefore not patentable, but a claim to a railway sleeper made of the material
would not fall foul of this exclusion, and would be allowable if it passed the tests for novelty
and inventive step. Similarly, finding of a new substance or micro-organism occurring
freely in nature is a discovery and not an invention.
3(d)
The 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.
Explanation:- 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.
(For Pharma and Biotech related inventions refer to Pharma and Biotech GLs respectively)
Mere discovery of new property of a known substance
A mere discovery of a new property of known substance is not considered patentable. For
instance, the paracetamol has antipyretic property. Further discovery of new property of
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paracetamol as analgesic can not be patented. Similarly, ethyl alcohol is used as solvent but
further discovery of its new property as anti knocking, thereby making it usable as fuel, can
not be considered patentable.
Mere discovery of any new use of known substance
A mere discovery of new property of known substance is not considered patentable. For
instance, new use of Aspirin for treatment of the cardio-vascular disease, which was earlier
used for analgesic purpose, is not patentable. However, a new and alternative process for
preparing Aspirin is patentable. Similarly, the new use of methyl alcohol as antifreeze in
automobiles. The use of methanol as a solvent is known in the prior art. A new use has been
claimed in this claim as antifreeze which is not allowable Further, a new use of Chloroquine for
Sarcoidosis (a fungal disease) and for Infectious mononucleosis (a viral disease) and for
Diabetic neuritis(inflammation of nerves) is not patentable.
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:- Mere use of a known process is not
patentable unless such known process results in a new product or employs at least one new
reactant. Similarly mere use of known apparatus or machine for another purpose is also not
considered patentable.
In 101/Bom/72 "Metric time showing device" was held not patentable. The device comprised
a normal clock or watch having usual hands for indicating hours, minutes and seconds;
wherein dial or like visual numerical indicators were divided into 10 large divisions for hours,
hours divisions are divided into 100 divisions indicating minutes and each minute is divided
into 100 parts representing seconds. It was held to be a mere use of known device and hence,
not patentable.
3(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 substance;
It is a well-accepted principle of Patent Law that mere placing side by side of old integers so
that each performs its own proper function independently of any of the others is not a
patentable combination, but that where the old integers when placed together has some
working interrelation producing a new or improved result, then there is patentable subject
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matter in the idea of the working inter relations brought about by the collocation of the
integers.
A mixture of sugar and some colourants in water to produce a soft drink is a mere admixture
resulting into aggregation of the properties. Similarly, a mixture of different types of
medicament or medicine to cure multiple diseases is also a mere admixture of substances and
is not a patentable invention. However, an admixture resulting into synergistic properties of a
mixture is not considered as mere admixture, e.g., soap, detergent, lubricants and polymer
composition etc. A process for producing a substance by admixing, which is resulting into the
aggregation of the properties of the components thereof, is also not patentable invention.
A composition of two drugs, i.e. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen for curing fever and pain or
process of preparation thereof is not patentable for the reason that the composition is a
mere admixture of two drug components resulting into aggregation of properties thereof;
since Paracetamol is well known for treatment of fever and Ibuprofen for treatment of pain.
However, if the mixture of drugs exhibits some unexpected results or synergistic properties in
their action, then such composition is considered as patentable subject matter.
In general all the substances which are produced by mere admixing, or a process of producing
such substances should satisfy the requirements of synergistic effect in order to be
patentable. The synergistic effect should be clearly brought out in the description and
examples by way of comparison at the time of filing of the application. The subsequent
submission regarding synergism can be accepted in a reply to the office action as a further
support of synergy. However, the submitted data shall not be allowed to form part of the
specification.
3(f)
The mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each
functioning independently of one another in a known way.
“It is important to bear in mind that in order to be patentable an improvement on something
known before or a combination of different matters already known, should be something
more than a mere workshop improvement; and must independently satisfy the test of
invention or an 'inventive step'. To be patentable the improvement or the combination must
produce a new result, or a new article or a better or cheaper article than before. The
combination of old known integers may be so combined that by their working inter relation
they produce a new process or improved result. Mere collocation of more than one integers
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or things, not involving the exercise of any inventive faculty, does not qualify for the grant of a
patent.” 8
A new and useful application of an old principle may be good subject- matter. An
improvement on something known may also afford subject-matter; so also a different
combination of matters already known. A patentable combination is one in which the
component elements are so combined as to produce a new result or arrive at an old result in a
better or more expeditious or more economical manner. If the result produced by the
combination is either a new article or a better or cheaper article than before, the combination
may afford subject-matter of a patent. 9
The invention was related to thickness of the layers of pouch. The issue was about the
thickness of plastic film/layer depends upon the tolerance of the contents in the pouch. It was
held that the invention is merely an arrangement and rearrangement of the items and cannot
be termed as a novel concept and does not have any novelty. Such arrangement and rearrangement of mixture of the materials cannot become an invention, for it is only an
improvement by adding microns as per the strength of the layers. Thus, prima facie the
invention claimed by the plaintiff in respect of the thickness of the layers of the aforesaid
pouch cannot be called an invention as envisaged within the definition clause of the Patents
Act. Besides, the documentary evidence placed on record prima facie indicates that the claim
made by the plaintiff is already known in the trade and the patent was pre-published. 10
In the case of the Franz Zaver Huemer v. New Yesh Engineers, (1996 PTC (16) 164 Del. ) it was
held that the plaintiff could not claim the to be an inventor of the patent device as the device
is already being used in machines for several years in several countries especially in India
vide para 9 to 16 of the affidavit, the defendant has set out several details of the machines
already being manufactured for over one and a half decade leading to an inference that there
was nothing new in the plaintiff's device. Arrangement or rearrangement of the already
8
Biswanath Prasad Radhey Shyam v. Hindustan Metal Industries [1978] Insc 255 (13th December, 1978)
9
Lallubhai Chakubhai v. Chimanlal and Co. (AIR 1936 Bom 99) :
10
Standipack Private Limited v. Oswal Trading Co. Ltd (1999 (19) PTC 479 (Del))
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known device does not amount to an invention. As sufficient ground exists for revocation of
the plaintiff's patent, the defendant has a very good defence to the plaintiff's suit.
In the case of 1985 (5) PTC 71 (Del) , the application for grant of patent was in respect of
apparatus for producing metallic bellows. During the opposition proceedings it was held that
both hydraulic machine and roll forming machine were undoubtedly the separate machines
functioning independently of other there being no novel feature stated by the applicant.
Hence, the ground that there was no invention was accepted as the applicant was seeking
the patent right on known types of hydraulic forming and roll forming machines which is not
allowable.
A new combination may be the subject matter of a patent although every part of the
combination, per se, is old for here the new article is not the parts themselves but the
assembling and working of the parts, together. (Lallubhai Chakkubhai v. Shamaldas
Sankalchand Shah, A.I.R 1934 Bom. 407).
The merit of a new combination very much depends upon the result produced. Where a slight
alteration turns that which was practically useless intowhat is useful and important, it is fit
subject matter for a patent ((Lallubhai Chakkubhai v. Shamaldas Sankalchand Shah, A.I.R 1934
Bom. 407).
In ORA/34/09/PT/KOL, the invention is to provide for a head scarf cum neck covering for
woman, which would on one had provide for the desired covering for the head, ear and neck
of women such as required for protection from cold conditions and at the same time
essentially maintain the much required facial beauty Claim 1: A head scarf cum neck covering
apparel for women comprising: a substantially rectangular shaped neck covering portion; a
cap type head and ear covering port secured along one of the longitudinal edges of the said
rectangular neck covering portion; said cap portion adapted such that on wearing the said cap
is adapted to cover completely the head and ear region providing an open front to reveal the
face of the wearer with or without the immediate front of the head just above the forehead; a
converging rear of the Cap type head and ear covering portion providing for a concaved
portion adapted to accommodate/surround comfortably the head including any
knotted/bundled hair of long hair women.
IPAB while revoking the patent noted – “Any person who wanted to protect her face and hair
would in fact have to wear the scarf and cap individually to achieve the same result. There is
no doubt that the complete specification contains flowery language describing how the visual
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attraction will be enhanced, how the hair of the lady will be protected. But if the verbal
jugglery is removed we are left with a cap stitched to a muffler and nothing more. This in fact,
is merely a juxtaposition of known components i.e., cap and muffler working independently
and such combination are not patentable under section 3 (f)”. It may be noted that IPAB did
not rely on any prior art for cap/scarf, presumably as it was prevalent common knowledge.
3(h) A method of agriculture or horticulture.
A method of producing mushroom plant (64/Cal/79) and a method for cultivation of an algae
(445/Del/93] were held not patentable.
3(i) Any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic, diagnostic therapeutic or
other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals to render
them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products.
According to Section 3 (i) of the Act, any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative,
prophylactic, diagnostic, therapeutic or other treatment of human beings or any process for a
similar treatment of animals to render them free of disease or to increase their economic
value or that of their products is not an invention. Under this section, the Manual of Patent
Office Practice & Procedure states that the followings are excluded from patentability:
(a) Medicinal methods: As for example, a process of administering medicines orally, or
through injectables, or topically or through a dermal patch;
(b) Surgical methods: As for example, a stitch-free incision for cataract removal;
(c) Curative methods: As for example, a method of cleaning plaque from teeth;
(d) Prophylactic methods: As for example, a method of vaccination;
(e) Diagnostic methods: Diagnosis is the identification of the nature of a medical illness,
usually by investigating its history and symptoms and by applying tests. Determination of the
general physical state of an individual (e.g. a fitness test) is considered to be diagnostic;
(f) Therapeutic methods: The term “therapy’’ includes prevention as well as treatment or cure
of disease. Therefore, the process relating to therapy may be considered as a method of
treatment and as such not patentable;
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(g) Any method of treatment of animal to render them free of disease or to increase their
economic value or that of their products. As for example, a method of treating sheep for
increasing wool yield or a method of artificially inducing the body mass of poultry;
(h) Further examples of subject matters excluded under this provision are: any operation on
the body, which requires the skill and knowledge of a surgeon and includes treatments such as
cosmetic treatment, the termination of pregnancy, castration, sterilization, artificial
insemination, embryo transplants, treatments for experimental and research purposes and
the removal of organs, skin or bone marrow from a living donor, any therapy or diagnosis
practiced on the human or animal body and further includes methods of abortion, induction
of labour, control of estrus or menstrual regulation.
(i) Application of substances to the body for purely cosmetic purposes is not therapy;
(j) Patent may however be obtained for surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic instrument or
apparatus. Also the manufacture of prostheses or artificial limbs and taking measurements
thereof on the human body are patentable.
In the field of pharmaceuticals, it is noticed that method of treatments are often claimed in
the guise of composition claims. Sometimes, such claims are converted to product claims
during examination procedure. Such amendments shall be examined as per Section 57 read
with section 59 of the Act.
3(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
According to Section 3 (j) of the Act, 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 are not patentable inventions.
Although, microorganisms are excluded from non-patentability list, a conjoined reading with
Section 3 (c) of the Act implies that only modified microorganisms, which do not constitute
discovery of living thing occurring in nature, are patentable subject matter under the Act.
Claims relating to essential biological processes of growing plants, germination of seeds, of
development stages of plants and animals shall be objected under Section 3 (j) of the Act.
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3.6 ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES:
1. Claims: A therapeutic composition for treating an immune-related disorder in a
mammalian subject, the composition comprises as an effective ingredient ex vivo
educated autologous NK T cells capable of modulating Th1/Th2 cell balance toward antiinflammatory cytokine producing cells and optionally comprising pharmaceutically
acceptable carrier, diluent, excipient and/or additive.
Analysis: The claimed subject-matter falls within the scope of Section 3 (j) of the Act for
claiming ex vivo educated autologous NK T cells in the form of therapeutic composition.
Although the claim is directed to a composition, but there is nothing like a composition; in
fact the educated autologous NK T cells alone would be treated as a final product, because
other ingredients are kept as optional. Just by wording a claim as a composition claim
comprising additional one or more routine ingredients (for example pharmaceutically
acceptable carriers) has no effect on the final product and it does not exclude the claim from
falling within the scope of Section 3 (j) of the Act.
2. Claim: A method of producing at least one of substantially pure hybrid seeds, plants and
crops, comprising the steps of (i) producing a male parent which is male fertile, (ii)
breeding the male parent with a female parent which is substantially male sterile, and (iii)
harvesting seeds from the female parent which contain pure hybrid seeds.
Analysis: The claimed method involves the step of cross breeding for producing pure
hybrid seeds, plants and crops. Thus, it is an essentially biological process and not
allowable under Section 3 (j) of the Act.
As per this sub-section, while plants and animals or any part of the plant or animal is not
patentable, an exception is made in the case of micro-organisms. However, any
discovered micro-organism from the nature is not patentable.
In Dimminaco – A.G v. Controller of Patents & Designs and others (AID No.1 of 2001)the
issue involved was the patenting of the process for preparation of infectious bursitis vaccine,
which is invented for protecting poultry against infectious bursitis. The Controller held that
the process of separation of the vaccine which has living entity cannot be considered a
manufacture and hence not patentable under section 2(1)(j)of the Patents Act. He also held
that since the vaccine contains living organism it cannot be patented. The court held that the
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matter involved is of a new process of preparation of vaccine under specific scientific
conditions and the said vaccine is useful for protecting poultry against contagious bursitis
infection and there is no statuary bar to accept a manner of manufacture as a patentable
even if the end products contain living organism.
3(k) A mathematical or business method or a computer programme per se or algorithms are
not patentable.
Under this provision, mathematical methods, business methods, computer programmes per
se and algorithms are not considered as patentable subject matter.
‘Mathematical methods’ are considered to be acts of mental skill. A method of calculation,
formulation of equations, finding square roots, cube roots and all other methods directly
involving mathematical methods are therefore not patentable. With the development in
computer technology, mathematical methods are used for writing algorithms and computer
programs for different applications and the claimed invention is sometimes camouflaged as
one relating to the technological development rather than the mathematical method itself.
These methods, claimed in any form, are considered to be not patentable.
“Business Methods” claimed in any form are not patentable subject matter. The term
‘Business Methods’ involves whole gamut of activities in a commercial or industrial enterprise
relating to transaction of goods or services. With the development of technology, business
activities have grown tremendously through e-commerce and related B2B and B2C business
transactions. The claims are at times drafted not directly as business methods but apparently
with some technical features such as internet, networks, satellites, tele-communications etc.
This exclusion applies to all business methods and, therefore, if in substance the claims relate
to business methods, even with the help of technology, they are not considered to be a
patentable subject matter.
Algorithms in all forms including but not limited to, a set of rules or procedures or any
sequence of steps or any method expressed by way of a finite list of defined instructions,
whether for solving a problem or otherwise, and whether employing a logical, arithmetical or
computational method, recursive or otherwise, are excluded from patentability.
Patent applications, with computer programme as a subject matter, are first examined with
respect to above quoted provisions. If the subject matter of an application does not fall under
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these categories, then, the subject matter is examined with a view to decide whether it is a
computer programme per se.
If the claimed subject matter in a patent application is only a computer programme, it is
considered as a computer programme per se and hence not patentable. Claims directed at
‘computer programme products’ are computer programmes per se stored in a computer
readable medium and as such are not allowable. Even if the claims, inter alia, contain a subject
matter which is not a computer programme, it is examined whether such subject matter is
sufficiently disclosed in the specification and forms an essential part of the invention.
g.
If the subject matter of a patent application is not found excluded under the foregoing
provisions, it shall be examined with respect to other criteria of patentability.
3(l) A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever
including cinematographic works and television productions.
Writings, music, works of fine arts, paintings, sculptures, computer programmes, electronic
databases, books, pamphlets, lectures, addresses, sermons, dramatic-musical works,
choreographic works, cinematographic works, drawing, architecture, engraving, lithography,
photographic works, applied art, illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, three-dimensional works
relating to geography, topography, translations, adaptations, arrangements of music,
multimedia productions, etc. are not patentable. Such works fall within the domain of the
Copyright Act, 1957.
3(m) Schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games
Method of performing mental act or method of playing game or a mere scheme or rule are as
such excluded from patentability, because they are considered as outcome of
mere
mental process.
Method of learning a language.
Method of playing chess.
Method of teaching.
Method of learning
Method of operating a machine or equipment as per the set of instructions
3(n) A presentation of information.
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Any manner, means or method of expressing information whether visual, audible or tangible
by words, codes, signals, symbols, diagrams or any other mode of representation is not
patentable. For example, a speech instruction means in the form of printed text where
horizontal underlining indicated stress and vertical separating lines divided the works into
rhythmic groups is held not patentable.
In the matter of application No. 94/Cal/2002, the Controller held, that patent system was
meant for protecting only one kind of creativity , i.e., technological creativity and since the
claimed invention related to business method and method of presenting information, it was
not allowed.
3(o) Topography of integrated circuits.
Protection of Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits is governed separately under the
Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Lay-out Designs Act, 2000. Three-dimensional configuration
of the electronic circuits used in microchips and semiconductor chips is not patentable.
3(p) An invention which in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or
duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components.
Traditional Knowledge, being knowledge already existing, is not patentable. An example is the
antiseptic property of turmeric for wound healing. Another example is the pesticidal and
insecticidal properties of neem.
According to Section 3 (p) of the Act, an invention which, in effect, is traditional knowledge or
which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component
or components is not a patentable subject matter. For the examination of TK related subject
matters, separate guidelines have already been issued by the Office of CGPDTM.
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES:
Claim: Serum of pigeon possessing the anti-paralysis activity.
Analysis: The use of pigeon serum for the treatment of paralysis (as it possess anti-paralytic
activity) is a traditional knowledge in India or is an aggregation or duplication of known
properties of traditionally known component. It is clearly evident from D1 (Mahawar et al.,
“Animals and their products utilized as medicines by the inhabitants surrounding the Analysis:
The use of pigeon serum for the treatment of paralysis (as it possess anti-paralytic activity) is a
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traditional knowledge in India or is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of
traditionally known component. It is clearly evident from D1 (Mahawar et al., “Animals and
their products utilized as medicines by the inhabitants surrounding the Ranthambhore
National Park, India”, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 2006, 2:46, see entire
document especially Table I), which discloses the use of pigeon blood for treating paralysis.
Inventions Relating To Atomic Energy:
Section 4: “No Patent shall be granted in respect of an invention relating to atomic energy
falling within subsection (1) of section 20 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962)”
No patent shall be granted for the invention which in the opinion of Central Government is
useful for or related to the production, control, use or disposal of atomic energy or
prospecting mining extraction, production, physical and chemical treatment fabrication,
enrichment, canning or use of any prescribed substance or radioactive substance or the
insuring of safety in atomic energy operation.
According to Section 20(1) of Atomic Energy Act, atomic energy means energy released from
atomic nuclei as a result of any process including the fission and fusion processes. Under this
Act, "prescribed substances" means any substance including any mineral which the Central
Government may, by notification, prescribe, being a substance which in its opinion is or may
be used for the production or use of atomic energy or research into matters connected
therewith and includes uranium, plutonium, thorium, beryllium, deuterium or any of these
respective derivative or compounds or any other materials containing any of the aforesaid
substances. The Act defines the term "radioactive substances" or "radioactive material" as
any substance or material, which spontaneously emits radiation in excess of the levels
prescribed by notification by the Central Government.
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Chapter 4
International Patent Classification
4.1
Importance, necessity and details
The International Patent Classification (IPC), established by the Strasbourg Agreement 1971,
provides for a hierarchical system of language independent symbols for the classification of
patents and utility models according to the different areas of technology to which they pertain
(http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/). Indian Patent Office is following the IPC system
for the purpose of the publication under Section 11A and for the purpose of search as well.
Layout of classification symbols:
Sections, Subsection, Class, Subclass, Group and Sub-Group are the various levels of hierarchy
of the IPC Classification system.
Sections:
Sections are the highest level of hierarchy of the Classification. The IPC is divided into eight
sections.
A HUMAN NECESSITIES
B PERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
C CHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
D TEXTILES; PAPER
E FIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
F MECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
G PHYSICS
H ELECTRICITY
(a) Section Symbol – Each section is designated by one of the capital letters A through H.
(b) Section Title – The section title is to be considered as a very broad indication of the
contents of the section.
(d) Subsection – Within sections, informative headings may form subsections, which are titles
without classification symbols.
Example: Section A (HUMAN NECESSITIES) contains the following subsections:
AGRICULTUREFOODSTUFFS; TOBACCO
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PERSONAL OR DOMESTIC ARTICLES
HEALTH; LIFE SAVINGS; AMUSEMENT
Classes:
Each section is subdivided into classes which are the second hierarchical level of the
classification.
(a) Class Symbol – Each class symbol consists of the section symbol followed by a two-digit
number. Example: H01
(b) Class Title – The class title gives an indication of the content of the class.
Example: H01 Basic Electric Elements
(c) Class Index – Some classes have an index which is merely an informative summary giving a
broad survey of the content of the class.
Sub-Classes:
Each class comprises one or more sub-classes which are the third hierarchical level of the
Classification.
(a) Subclass Symbol – Each subclass symbol consists of the class symbol followed by a capital
letter. Example: H01S
(b) Subclass Title – The subclass title indicates as precisely as possible the content of the
subclass. Example: H01S Devices Using Stimulated Emission
(c) Subclass Index – Most subclasses have an index which is merely an informative summary
giving a broad survey of the content of the subclass.
(d) Guidance Heading – Where a large part of a subclass relates to a common subject matter a
guidance heading indicating that subject matter may be provided at the beginning of that
part.
Groups:
Each subclass is broken down into subdivisions referred to as “groups”, which are either main
groups (i.e., the fourth hierarchical level of the Classification) or subgroups (i.e., lower
hierarchical levels dependent upon the main group level of the Classification).
(a) Group Symbol – Each group symbol consists of the subclass symbol followed by two
numbers separated by an oblique stroke.
(b) Main Group Symbol – Each main group symbol consists of the subclass symbol followed by
a one- to three-digit number, the oblique stroke and the number 00. Example: H01S 3/00
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(c) Main Group Title – The main group title precisely defines a field of subject matter within
the scope of its subclass considered to be useful for search purposes. Main group symbols and
titles are printed in bold in the Classification. Example: H01S 3/00 Lasers
(d) Subgroup Symbol – Subgroups form subdivisions under the main groups. Each subgroup
symbol consists of the subclass symbol followed by the one- to three-digit number of its main
group, the oblique stroke and a number of at least two digits other than 00. Example: H01S
3/02.
Subgroups are ordered in the scheme as if their numbers were decimals of the number before
the oblique stroke. For example, 3/036 is to be found after 3/03 and before 3/04, and 3/0971
is to be found after 3/097 and before 3/098.
(e) Subgroup Title – The subgroup title precisely defines a field of subject matter within the
scope of its main group considered to be useful for search purposes. The title is preceded by
one or more dots indicating the hierarchical position of that subgroup, i.e., indicating that
each subgroup forms a subdivision of the nearest group above it having one dot less (see
paragraphs 25 to 28, below). The subgroup title is often a complete expression, in which case
it begins with a capital letter. A subgroup title begins with a lower case letter if it reads as a
continuation of the title of the next higher, less indented group from which it depends. In all
cases, the subgroup title must be read as being dependent upon, and restricted by, the titles
of the groups under which it is indented. Examples: H01S 3/00 Lasers
H01S 3/14 • characterised by the material used as the active medium The title of 3/14 is to be
read as: Lasers characterised by the material used as the active medium.
H01S 3/05 • Construction or shape of optical resonators The title of 3/05 is a complete
expression, but owing to its hierarchical position this group is restricted to the construction or
shape of optical resonators of lasers.
Multiple Classifications
Multiple classifications of documents is needed, for example, when different categories of
subject matter, i.e., processes, products, apparatus or materials, for which special places are
provided in the Classification, constitute invention information. Another example of multiple
classification may represent classifying in function-oriented places and application places
when essential technical characteristics of the subject of the invention are concerned with
both types of places. Multi-aspect classification is applied to subject matter which, by its
nature, is characterised by several aspects, for example, by its intrinsic structure and its
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particular use or property. Classifying of such subject matter according to only one aspect
would lead to incomplete search information.
The classification symbols allotted should not be restricted to the place or places in the
Classification which cover only one aspect of a technical subject identified. Due regard should
also be given to further places in the Classification where other non-trivial aspects of that
technical subject may need to be classified.
CLASSIFICATION OF TECHNICAL SUBJECTS OF INVENTIONS:
Accurate identification of the technical subject(s) with which each invention is essentially
concerned, is of paramount importance for the purpose of classification. Many times
invention relates only to a particular field of use (application-oriented), while at other times
embrace a wider concept in which the constructional or functional characteristics are
described (function-oriented).
Thus, to classify a technical subject in a function-oriented place or in an application-oriented
place, the following should be observed:
(a) If a particular application is mentioned, but not specifically disclosed or fully identified,
classification is made in the function-oriented place, if available.
(b) If the essential technical characteristics of the subject relate both to the intrinsic nature or
function of a thing and to its particular use, or its special adaptation to or incorporation into a
larger system, classification is made in both the function-oriented place and the applicationoriented place, if available.
(c) If guidance indicated in subparagraphs (a) and (b), above, cannot be used, classification is
made in both the function-oriented place and the relevant application-oriented places.
When classifying a larger system (combination) as a whole, attention should be given to parts
or details whenever they are novel and unobvious. Classification of both the system and these
parts and details is necessary.
EXAMPLES OF IPC CLASSIFICATION:
Example 1:
The present invention relates to use of (thio)-carbamoyl-cyclohexane derivatives, particularly
trans-4-{2-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyI)-piperazin-1-yl]-ethyI}-N,N-dimethylcarbamoylcyclohexylamine and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof in the manufacture of a
medicament for the treatment of acute mania. Furthermore, the present invention relates to
the treatment of acute mania through the administration of (thio)-carbamoyl cyclohexane
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derivatives,
particularly
trans-4-{2-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-piperazin-1-yl]-ethyl}-N,N-
dimethylcarbamoyl-cyclohexylamine and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof.
Classification:
Structure of above-mentioned (thio)-carbamoyl-cyclohexane derivative
IPC Stats search using the expression “piperazine and mania” results in the following
classifications:
A61K 31/495 (related to piperazine derivative)
A61P 25/18 (related to mania)
Example 2:
Use of a composition comprising a fixed combination of
a) formoterol, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt or solvate thereof or a solvate of such a salt;
and
b) beclometasone dipropionate;
for the manufacture of a medicament for use in the prevention and/or treatment of an
exacerbation of asthma, intermittent asthma and/or episodes in chronic asthma during the
maintenance therapy of asthma with the same composition for symptomatic relief, when
needed.
Classification:
Structure of formoterol
Structure of beclometasone dipropionate
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IPC Stats search using the expression “formoterol and beclometasone and asthma” results in
the following classifications.
A61K 31/167 (related to formoterol)
A61K 31/57 (related to beclometasone)
A61P 11/06 (related to asthma)
Example 3:
An anticancer composition, comprising:
a) a 13-deoxy anthracycline of the following formula
Wherein; each R1, R2 and R3 individually is H or OH; R4 is H, OH, alkyl, or O-alkyl; R5 is O or
NH; and R6 is a sugar moiety, pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; and
b) a taxane.
Classification:
IPC Stats search using the expressions “deoxy anthracycline and cancer” and “taxane and
cancer” results in the following classifications.
A61K 31/70 (related to anthracycline)
A61K 31/337 (related to taxane)
A61P 35/00 (related to cancer)
A61K 9/14 (related to composition)
C07D 305/14 (related to chemical structure of taxane)
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Example 4:
A pair of foldable glasses comprising: two lenses having a first side and a second side, the first
side facing outwards and the second side facing the wearer; a hinged bridge for connecting
the lenses together and permitting the lenses to fold together either forwards or rearwards;
two temple pieces extending from an outer edge of the lenses with a hinged connection
between each of the temple pieces and the outer edge of the lenses enabling the two temple
pieces to fold inwards or forwards, wherein the two temple pieces have a hinged joint
permitting a rear section of the temple pieces to fold forwards underneath the temple pieces;
and a connection means on the outer edge of the lenses, wherein the connection means have
complimentary male and female connectors.
Classification:
OPTICAL DEVICES / EYEPIECES
G02B25/00
G02B5/00
G02C5/00; G02B25/00; G02C5/08; G02C5/14
Section
Class
G
02
Physics
Subclass
B
Optics
Group
Optical elements, systems, or apparatus
C
25/00
Eyepieces; Magnifying glasses
SPECTACLES;
SUNGLASSES OR GOGGLES
5/00
Construction of non-optical
parts
Example 5:
A method for sending data, comprising: transmitting data bit 1 by a periodic wave with a
period T1 and transmitting data bit 0 by a periodic wave with a period T2, T1 being unequal to
T2; and sending continuously a corresponding periodic wave according to a bit sequence of
data to be sent, wherein the bit sequence of the data to be sent comprises successively a
synchronous head, a character to be transmitted and a synchronous tail; the synchronous
head has M bits and M is greater than or equal to 2, and bit values of the M bits of the
synchronous head are the same; the synchronous tail has N bits and N is greater than or equal
to 2, and bit values of the N bits of the synchronous tail are the same.
Classification:
TRANSMITTER AND RECEIVERS / TRANCIEVERS
H04B 1/02, 1/06
H
Electrical
04
Communication
Technique
B
transmission
1/02, 1/06
Transmitters Receivers
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Chapter 5
Search for Novelty and Inventive Step
5.1
Concepts including search standards
Before conducting search, the examiner should read thoroughly the specification from which
an idea about the boundary of the alleged invention can be developed. Section 10(5)
mandates that the claims shall be fairly (not exactly ) based on description . Having read the
specification the examiner shall prepare a precise and concise statement setting out all the
technical features along with functional relationship there between contributing to objective
of the invention and advantages over the prior art admitted in the specification, in respect of
every set of independent claim (interpreting claim in the light of specification ), provided that
said each independent claim is not repetitive. This way examiner will know what are the
elements/features to be searched for. Examiner shall keep in mind that what is disclosed
and what is being claimed ( scope of claims arising from drafting skills) shall match as required
under Section10. Examiner shall try to understand what is explicitly and implicitly contained in
the specification vis-à-vis the background art and there by formulate the problem and the
technical solution as proposed by the applicant.
Search query
Search query is a structured command to search prior art from patent/non-patent databases,
comprising
key words (with synonyms, alternate spellings etc.), classifications, suitably
connected by operators. A group of search queries prepared by the examiner to obtain
relevant citations in respect of novelty ,inventive step etc. is called search strategy and will be
indicative of the efforts made to retrieve prior art. Search is an iterative process through
which an examiner by trial and error tries to find out the most appropriate citations as he
deems fit.
The examiner has to record the search strategy and the databases accessed. It may be borne
in mind that the recorded search strategy should reproduce the same results that have been
specified in the examiner’s report unless it is evident that the database underwent further
changes with respect to the entry of the data available up to the time and date of search.
The language of search
Let us assume that we have to find prior art for “Bat for killing mosquitoes using electric
potential”.
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Keywords
Bat, Kill, Mosquito and Electric potential
If the key words alone are used to search for prior art then the results will be either too many
or none. Therefore the patent Classification and words in suitable combination, one can find
prior art in shortest possible time. If the key words are located far away in the documents we
are looking for, it is quite possible that the document/s may not be useful. But if the key words
of the search query are located closer it is more probable that the document/s retrieved will
be relevant to what we are searching for.
Operators: Operators help in positioning key words at proper place, which determine the
relevancy and the number of the results we are searching for, using the keywords.
Operators are of kinds: Proximity and Boolean operators.
Boolean operators: determine what key words should be present.
OR
Finds records containing at least one of the words
AND
Finds records containing both (All) words
NOT
The first term without the second term
Proximity operators ( A and B separated by n words, A and B separated by n paragraphs , A
and B separated by n lines ,n being 1 or more .A,B are the technical features we are looking
for) determine the spacing between key words. One has to vary Proximity operators (i.e
spacing between) as per the results obtained. Root words should be used to obtain more but
relevant results. Modern computing techniques enable retrieving results by searching for root
words in patent databases.
F
The terms in the same field
S
The terms in the same sentence
P
The terms in the same paragraph
D
The terms adjacent in any order
nD
The terms adjacent, regardless of the order, separated by a maximum of n words (n
value between 1 and 99)
=nD
The terms adjacent, regardless of the order, separated by exactly n words (n value
between 1 and 99)
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W
The terms adjacent in the order specified; treatment applied by default for two
terms entered without operator
nW
The adjacent terms in the order specified and separated by a maximum of n words
(n value between 1 and 99)
_
The underscore allows for simultaneous searching of terms that may be written as
one or two words. It will also retrieve results where there is a hyphen between
terms. It can also be used in chemical formulas.
Parentheses
Parentheses (nesting) are necessary when combining different operators
Stemming: A Root word “Destroy” can be used as “destroyed /destroying/destroy” for the
purpose of prior art search. Therefore one has to use the root word (destroy) to capture all
possible ways using a word to retrieve prior art. For example if a document teaches “An insect
destroying implement powered by electric voltage” that will certainly be relevant to the
example we have chosen. One Boolean operator should be used very sparingly “AND” is
implicit when we use Proximity operators. “And” if used instead of proximity operators, will
give so many non-relevant documents.
Classification:
Classification is a tool to overcome differences in human expression/s & language/s and is an
alphanumeric representation to index as well as retrieve relevant documents from the
databases. For example “rank information” is used only by Japanese applicants in the field of
printers. For instance, many Japanese patent documents are available as classified as per F
terms; still further EPO and USPTO are presently using CPC as their classification system. While
formulating the search strategy if the Examiner feels comfortable he may use combinations of
such classification or may use such classification alone
5.2
Guidance (search strategy, databases, methodology, recording, reporting etc)
Novelty search
Having prepared a concise and precise statement for every independent claim, and search for
all those identified technical features and their functional relationship between them. If the
retrieved document/s includes all the technical features which contribute to objective of the
invention, such document/s takes away the novelty (objective or technical features can be
implicit also). In order to demonstrate lack of novelty, the anticipatory disclosure must be
entirely contained within a single document. If more than one document is cited, each
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must stand on its own, or the documents so cited are linked in such a manner so that they form
a continuous document. It may be noted that for the purpose of the novelty determination
following documents need to be searched: a) the documents published before the date of
priority date of the claim under consideration b) the patent documents filed in India before
the date of priority of the claim under consideration but published after the date of priority.
Note
For prior published Indian specification (published on or after 01.01.1912) and for prior
claiming document searching of Indian specification are mainly required and for that reason
search through module is so essential. Searching of prior claiming document is required to
avoid double patenting. Apart from the techniques elaborated, search shall be conducted
based on inventor’s name or applicant’s name or both.
In search report, the examiner shall incorporate at least;
 The application Number
 The patent classification(IPC)
 The relevant citations with their number and date of publication
 The paragraph indicating similarities of the invention with the citations
 Documents in the search report shall be categorised as X, Y, A or P, X.
5.3
Examples
Search Example 1:
Title: AUTO DISABLED SYRINGE
Claim :
1. A auto disabled disposable syringe, comprising:
a needle to administer a drug solution into a human body;
a hub to support the needle;
a hollow barrel having a tip such that the hub is fitted over the tip;
a piston moving while being in close contact with an inner wall of the barrel, thus dispensing
the drug solution from the barrel through the tip; and
a plunger rod connected to the piston via a connection part, and moving the piston, wherein
the piston comprises a protrusion protruding toward the needle, with a locking step provided
on the protrusion, and the hollow tip comprises a locking groove, so that, when the drug
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solution has been completely administered into the human body, the protrusion is inserted in
the tip and the locking step thus engages with the locking groove, and
the connection part comprises a thin member having a predetermined strength, the strength
being set so that the connection part is broken, when the locking step engages with the
locking groove and the plunger rod is thereafter pulled, the connection part connecting facing
surfaces of the piston and the plunger rod to each other, with one or more projections being
provided on at least one of facing surfaces of the piston and the plunger rod such that the
surfaces are in partial contact with each other.
1 ((DISABL+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+
OR
EXTEN+)
P
(LOCK+)
P
(GROOVE
OR
CHANNEL
OR
FURROW))/CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
2 ((DISABLE+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+ OR EXTEN+) P (LOCK+) P (GROOVE OR CHANNEL OR FURROW))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND (A61M-005/00 OR A61M-
005/178 OR A61M-005/31 OR A61M-005/315 OR A61M-005/32 OR A61M-005/34 OR
A61M-005/50)/IPC
(Shortlisting the results by putting the relevant classification from IPC [can be any
classification like CPC, ECLA etc].
3 ((DISABLE+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+ OR EXTEN+) P (LOCK+) P (GROOVE OR CHANNEL OR FURROW))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2004-0622
4 (((DISABLE+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+ OR EXTEN+) P (LOCK+) P (GROOVE OR CHANNEL OR FURROW))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND
((PISTON)
P
(BREAK
OR
DISENGAGE))/CLAIMS) AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2004-06-22
(Here publication date filter is used , Finding the documents which may be relevant to our
invention under examination)
5 (((DISABLE+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+
OR
EXTEN+))/CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND
((PISTON) P (BREAK OR DISENGAGE))/CLMS ) AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2004-06-22
6 ( ((DISABLE+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+
OR
EXTEN+))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND
((PISTON) P (BREAK OR DISENGAGE))/CLAIMS ) AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2004-06-22
Page 66 of 115
7 ( ((DISABLE+) P (SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (NEEDLE OR BARREL) P (PISTON OR PLUNGER) P
(PROTRU+
OR
EXTEN+))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND
((PISTON) P (BREAK OR DISENGAGE) P (LOCK+ OR GROOVE))/CLAIMS ) AND
PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2004-06-22
8 ((SYRINGE OR HYPODERM+) P (PISTON) P (BREAK OR DISENGAGE) P (LOCK+ OR GROOVE))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2004-0622
Search Example 2:
Title: UNIFIED MODEL FOR AUTHORING AND EXECUTING FLOW-BASED AND CONSTRAINTBASED WORKFLOWS
Claim: A computer-implemented system representing a workflow model, said computer
implemented system comprising: a workflow having a structured plurality of activities, said
workflow further including an unstructured plurality of activities each having a constraint
associated therewith; a runtime engine for performing the workflow by: executing each of the
structured plurality of activities; evaluating the constraint for each of the unstructured
plurality of activities; and executing each of the unstructured plurality of activities as a
function of evaluating the constraint associated therewith.
Search Strategy adopted:
1. (((workflow or (work w/2 flow) or work-flow)) w/15 (unstructur*)) AND (((activity or
activities or task or item) w/15 (specification or sequence or control or arrangement or
arrange or flow or array or order))) AND PDN
«10/1/2004 )
2. (((workflow or (work w/2 flow) or work-flow)) w/15 (unstructur*)) AND PDN
«10/1/2004 )
3. (((workflow or (work w/2 flow) or work-flow)) w/15 (unstructur*)) AND (((activity or
activities or task or item) w/15 (specification or sequence or control or arrangement or
arrange or flow or array or order))) AND PDN
4. (((workflow or (work w/2 flow) or work-flow)) w/15 (unstructur*)) AND (((activity or
activities or task or item) w/15 (specification or sequence or control or arrangement or
arrange or flow or array or order))) AND PDN
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«10/1/2004 )
5. (((workflow or (work w/2 flow) or work-flow)) w/15 (unstructur*)) AND (((activity or
activities or task or item) w/15 (specification or sequence or control or arrangement or
arrange or flow or array or order))) AND PDN
«10/1/2004 )
Search Example 3:
Claim : A method for coating a substrate with a deposition material comprising the steps of:
(a) atomizing the deposition material by means of an ultrasonic signal;
(b) directing the deposition material onto the substrate; and
(c) applying one of an in situ and post-deposition treatment to the substrate whereby the
deposition material is bound to the substrate.
Search strategy adopted:
1.
(COATING
AND
ATOMIZE
AND
ULTRASONIC)/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2006-10-19=
1481 results
2.
(COATING
AND
ATOMIZE
AND
ULTRASONIC
AND
SUBSTRATE)/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <=
2006-10-19 = 797 results
3. (METHOD AND COATING AND ATOMIZE AND ULTRASONIC AND SUBSTRATE)/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <=
2006-10-19 = 794 results
4. ((METHOD OF COATING) AND ATOMIZE AND ULTRASONIC AND SUBSTRATE)/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <=
2006-10-19 = 176 results
5. (METHOD OF COATING AND ATOMIZE AND ULTRASONIC AND SUBSTRATE AND
DEPOSITION)/CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND
PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2006-10-19 = 132 results
6. (METHOD AND COATING AND ATOMIZE AND ULTRASONIC SIGNAL AND
SUBSTRATE AND DEPOSITION)/ CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2006-10-19 = 5 results
7. (METHOD AND COATING AND ATOMIZE AND ULTRASONIC SIGNAL AND
DEPOSITION)/CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT
AND
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PUBLICATION_DATE <= 2006-10-19 =5results
Search Example 4:
Claim :
1. A thermochromic material based on a supramolecular gel.
2. A thermochromic material based on an electron donor alongwith astoichiometric
quantity of an electron acceptor, in an organic solvent.
3. The thermochromic material as claimed in claim 2, wherein saidelectron donor is
an anthrylidene derivative of a triterpene such asarjunolic acid.
4. The thermochromic material as claimed in claim 2, wherein the gel tosol
transition temperature can be fixed anywhere between 25 to 50°Cdepending on
the concentration of the solutes.
Search Strategy 1:
1.
(THERMOCHROMIC AND MATERIAL)/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <=
2006-10-26= 2805 results
2.
((THERMOCHROMIC MATERIAL))/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <=
2006-10-26 =887 results
Search Strategy 2:
1.
(THERMOCHROM+ AND GEL+)/
CLAIMS/DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVE/TEXT/ABSTRACT AND PUBLICATION_DATE <=
2006-10-26 =1677 results
2.
1 AND (ELECTRON DONOR)= 10 results
3.
2 AND (ELECTRON ACCEPTOR) = 6 results
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Chapter 6
Examination standards and detailed official requirements
6.1 All the Standard statutory warranted objections
In the first examination stage, the examiner shall prepare the examination report
incorporating all the statutory objections required for the given patent application.
All
the objections taken must have some legal basis in the Patent Act and rules made
thereunder. The examiner shall not leave any objection which the law so demands. A non
exhaustive list of standard objections has been annexed herewith for guidance and
reference. The same standard objections are included in the examination module for
electronic processing of the applications. The list is just for guidance and may be suitably
phrased as per the requirement is a particular application. What is expected by the
examiners is that at the first examination level, they should take as many objections as
may judiciously be taken. The examiners should be communicative while writing the
official action or examination report. The report is open to judicial scrutiny and therefore
care should be exercised to make it as communicative as possible quoting the specific
provisions of the patent law wherever applicable.
6.2 No unwarranted objections
The objection which has no legal basis shall not be taken by the examiner at any stage of
examination. For example, objections like:
1.
If the specification specifically discloses the source and geographical origin as from
outside India with clear declaration to this effect in Form-1, an objection demanding an
approval from NBA should not be insisted upon.
2.
If the applicant himself files the application without employing any attorney,
insisting upon filing power of attorney, will be termed un-warranted.
6.3 Clear explanatory nature of objections
The objections shall be well communicative and definitive in it so as to be understood by
the addressee without seeking further clarification. (For example, objections such as
claims do not sufficiently define the invention, claims are not clearly worded, claim is too
broad, etc. are considered as vague and unclear).
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6.4 Comprehensive examination report
The examination report shall be drawn comprehensively. The objections must be
supported by the legal provisions and proper reasoning. The mutually contradictory
objections should be avoided and if required to be taken under some special
circumstances, it shall be well communicated giving full justification of adopting such
approach.
6.5 Effective maintenance of objections during examination cycle
The objection once taken shall be maintained and may be withdrawn only with proper
reasoning for such withdrawal justifying it clearly.
6.6 Fresh objections during amended stage to have full support of law based on available
facts
As far as possible, no fresh objection shall be taken at any stage consequent to first
examination report. However, if the facts are altered, the examiner may take fresh
objection at any stage but keeping in view the natural justice, such objections shall be
taken with proper justification.
6.7 Adherence to Patent Act and Rules
The examiner shall always adhere to the procedures established by the Patent law and not
by any other convention if it has no legal basis.
6.8 Maintenance of strict timelines
The crux of quality is in the maintenance of the timelines prescribed in the patent law. It is
not only achieving the prescribed timeline for a particular procedure but maintaining the
timeline with due quality component attached to the product and services of the Patent
Office.
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Chapter 7
Amendments (types, before/ after grant, allowability, clerical error etc.)
Guidance:
A request for amendment can be filed before the ‘grant’ or after the ‘grant’ of patent on
Form-13 with prescribed fee as per in the First Schedule.
The request should state the nature of the proposed amendment highlighted in the copy
annexed and give full particulars of the reason for which the request is made [S. 57(2)]. The
application can be for the amendment of priority date of a claim also [S.57 (5)].
The amendment can be allowed only if it is by way of disclaimer, correction or explanation.
The amendment allowed in these ways shall be only for the purpose of incorporation of actual
fact. Amendment should not be allowed if the specification as amended describes matter not
in substance disclosed or shown in the specification before the amendment or the amended
claims do not fall wholly within the scope of a claim of the specification before the
amendment (S. 59(1)).
The amended pages have to be filed in duplicate by the applicant along with duly cancelled
original pages.
If the application for leave to amendment an application for patent or a complete
specification or a document related thereto is made after the grant of patent, the nature of
the amendment proposed should be published in official journal inviting opposition by any
interested person (section 57(3). Section 57(4) & rule 81(3). The leave to amend the complete
specification obtained by fraud is a ground for revocation of Patent under section 64(1)(o). If
the amendments are opposed by the person interested then the Controller shall give notice to
the person desiring the amendments and before deciding the case, he shall give both the
parties an opportunity to be heard. In case of such an opposition the procedures relating to
filling of written statements, reply statements, leaving evidence, hearing and costs shall be
guided by the procedures specified in rules 57 to 63. If the amendments are allowed it should
be notified in the official journal (section 59(2) & R. 83).
But if there is any suit for the infringement or revocation of the patent in question pending
before a court, Controller shall not pass any order allowing or refusing the application for
amendment [section 57(1)].
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The provisions of the section 57 shall be without prejudice to the right of an applicant to
amend his specification or any other document related thereto to comply with the directions
of the Controller issued before grant of a patent [section 57(6)]
The applicant or patentee may amend the application, complete specification or any
document related thereto by making the application in the prescribed manner in Form 13
[Rule 81(1)]. The application shall state the nature of the proposed amendment (highlighted in
the copy annexed) and give full particulars of the reason for which the request is made
(section 57(2) and Form-13).
Any document for the amendment of which no special provision is made in the Act may be
amended and any irregularity in procedure which in opinion of the Controller may be obviated
without detriment to the interest of any person, may be corrected, if the Controller thinks fit
and upon such terms as he may direct, on a petition made by the applicant under Rule 137
with the prescribed fee given in First Schedule.
In the matter of an application for patent no.133689, DPD, Vol.1 at 200 and in the case of
Orissa Cement (applicant) v. Belpahar Refractories (opponent), it was held that in the
opposition proceedings, the Controller has power to allow amendments for meeting the
grounds of opposition but such an implied power is subject to some restrictions as imposed by
Section 59 of the Act in which powers of amendments are expressly given. Under Section 59 of
the Patents Act, 1970 an applicant for a patentee may at any time, apply to amend the
complete specification by way of disclaimer, correction or explanation. Unless the amendment
is for the purpose of correcting an obvious mistake, the following conditions must be fulfilled
viz.
(a) The amended specification must not claim or describe matter not in substance disclosed
in the specification before the amendment; and
(b) everything covered by en amended claim must have fallen within the scope of at least
one claim prior to the amendment. In other words any amendment should be allowed if
(i) the amended claims cover matter disclosed "in substance” in the original
specification , whether or not originally claimed; and
(ii) nothing outside the scope of the original claims comes within the amended
claims.
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The amendments sought through F13 may also include an amendment to the priority date.
However such an amendment has to be sought before the application has been deemed to
be withdrawn.
Scope of claims:
In ORA/17/2009/PT/CH [140/2012] IPAB certain claim amendments were allowed during
the prosecution of application at IPO, which the petitioner of renovation, claimed as not
conforming to requirements of section 59. Patentee stated that these amendments were
carried out to meet controller’s objections and need not be subjected to s.59 which is for
voluntary amendments. IPAB construed the following questions1.Does Section 57(6) permit an applicant to file an application which is defective in
its description of the invention in order that he may subsequently make good that
defect by providing additional further descriptive material?
2. Are all the routes for amending defects, subject to Section 59?
3. Does even refining of description in the specification by way of explanation be
held to be an amendment to cure the deficiencies that are not permissible under
section 59?
IPAB set aside the amendments, including that of claims. –“The purpose of Section 57(6) is
not to permit an applicant to file an application which is defective in its description of the
invention in order that he may subsequently make good that defect by providing additional
further descriptive material….added matter in the specification and claims is such that it
described the matter not in substance disclosed or shown in the specification before the
amendment. Further amended claims 1-20 do not fall wholly within the scope of the claims
1-4 as originally filed. We are convinced that amendments carried out during the
prosecution of the application in the specification, drawings and claims extend the scope of
disclosed matter and claims, which is particularly prohibited by Section 59”.
ORA/07/2009/PT/CH [109/2013] IPAB
“…. If claimed amendment is narrower than the original claim and it brings clarity and
explains the inventive step and novelty, we are bound to consider it. However we cannot
allow an amendment that does not stand the test of Section 59. If the amendment falls
within the scope of the original claim and does not claim anything beyond it, we may
consider whether our discretion should be exercised for granting the amendment in lieu of
revoking the patent….….. The respondent has invoked section 58 to seek amendments.
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Section 58 allows us to use our discretion to amend if we decide that the patent is invalid.
However the limitation under section 59 particularly relates to amendment of claims “No
amendment of ……….a complete specification ………shall be made …………..and no amendment
of a complete specification shall be allowed, the effect of which would be that the
specification as amended would claim …….………………or that any claim of the specification as
amended would not fall within the scope of any claim of the specification before the
amendment.””
Adding new features into claims:
In OA/4/2009/PT/CH [189/2012] IPAB broadly concurred with controller in rejecting claim
amendments sought during opposition, albeit for different reasons. IPAB notes “…We also
find the amended claims are beyond the scope of the claims as originally filed specifically in
view of the addition of the following elements such as scan of outer surface is taken at an
arbitrary initial position; obtaining at least two data and registering the same with respect
to the initial position; Data to be fed in the computer (for calculation of tri-dimensional
image of diamond and inclusion); registration of translations and rotations and the scan of
outer surface; knowledge of reflecting index of the diamond; determination of cylinder for
a direction of observation (claim 5) ; motoring means (Claim7). None of these elements
were claimed in the originally filed claims. Therefore such inclusions by way of amendments
are not permissible under section 59”.
Amendment of Priority date:
In W.P. (C) 801 of 2011- Delhi HC, an applicant missed the 48 months’ time limit to file F18.
Later a F13 was filed to disclaim the priority so as to extent the time limit to file F18.
However patent office rejected F13 as the application has already been deemed to have
been withdrawn under s. 11B. On a writ appeal, HC observed, “…There is logic to the time
limits set out under the Act. The scheme of the Act and the Rules require time-bound steps
to be taken by applicants for grant of patent at various stages. The provisions of the Act and
the Rules have to expressly reflect the legislative intent to permit relaxation of time limits,
absent which such relaxation cannot be „read into‟ the provisions by a High Court exercising
powers under Article226 of the Constitution.” Though it was conceded that the priority date
can be amended, and no time limit has been set for filing F13, applicant cannot file a F13 on
an application which has ceased to exist.
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Inordinate delay
In ORA/6/2009/PT/CH, IPAB stated that discretion may be applied in allowing amendments
when there is an inordinate delay in presenting amendments. In the instant case, IPAB noted
that amendments could have been presented when patentee’s expert evidence itself
suggested that. IPAB also did not accept the argument of inadvertent error when the terms
which were said to be erroneous where actually present in granted claims in US and EP.
Page 76 of 115
Chapter 8
Pre-grant disposal procedure
Pre-Grant Opposition
Any person may file an opposition by way of representation to the Controller against the
grant of Patent, at the appropriate office, at any time after publication of patent application
u/s 11A, but before the grant of Patent on any of the grounds mentioned in Section 25(1).
The date of grant of Patent is the date on which the Controller orders the grant of patent in
the file. Simultaneously, the patent number is generated and the fact of granting the patent
is available on the official website.
If any pre-grant opposition is received after the grant of the patent, the Controller shall
return the pre-grant opposition to the opponent and shall intimate such opponent about the
fact of grant of the patent.
If the opponent is a person interested, he may also file a formal post grant opposition.
A Patent is not granted before the expiry of six months from the date of publication under
Section 11A. Therefore, a person may file the pre-grant opposition within the assured period
of six months from the date of Publication, to make sure that the pre-grant opposition is
filed before the grant of patent.
The representation shall include a statement and evidence, if any, in support of such
representation and a request for hearing, if so desired.
The Controller shall consider the representation only after a Request for Examination for
that Application has been filed.
The Pre-Grant Opposition, if available on record, is considered by the Controller along with
the report of the Examiner.
The examiner has to include the comprehensive objections in the examination report on the
basis of documents submitted by the opponents
On consideration of the opposition, if the Controller is of the opinion that the opposition is
devoid of any merit, an opportunity of hearing shall be granted to the opponent, if
requested. After hearing the opponent, if the Controller is still of the opinion that the
opposition shall be refused, a speaking order shall be issued rejecting the pre-grant
opposition, ordinarily within one month.
However, if the Controller is of the opinion that pregrant opposition has merit and the
application shall be refused or amended, a notice is given to the applicant along with a copy
of the representation.
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The applicant shall, if he so desires, give reply to that representation along with his statement
and evidence, if any, in support of his application within three months from the date of the
notice.
The Controller shall consider the statement and evidence filed by the applicant and may
either refuse the grant of patent or ask for amendment of the complete specification to his
satisfaction before the grant of patent.
After considering the representation and submissions made during the hearing, the
Controller shall proceed further simultaneously, either rejecting the representation and
granting the patent or accepting the representation and refusing the grant, ordinarily within
one month from the completion of the above proceedings. If the application for patent is to
be refused on consideration of the pre-grant opposition u/s 25(1), a speaking order of refusal
shall be issued under Section 15.
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Chapter 9
Examination Report writing methodology
Report of examiner:
The examiner prepares report of examination after conducting examination in electronic module
and sends it to the controller. After due for consideration of the report of examiner by the controller
as per the provisions of section 14 of the Act, the examination report along with its covering letter is
generated through the module and subsequently sent to the address of service as mentioned on
Form-1.
Approval/Decision of Controller:
On approval of the controller, the first examination report (FER) is sent to the address of service of
the applicant and intimation to this effect is sent through e-mail. If, however, the report of examiner
is lacking in quality parameters the Controller, intervenes in supervisory capacity. The quality
parameters suggested by the Controllers becomes mandatory unless proved to be not warranted
based on counter- argument by the examiners giving the full justification for the same. The
Controller discharges his function as provided in the statute. This also completes the first stage of
quality control mechanism.
Application found in order for grant:
The applicant is required to comply with the official requirements imposed during the examination
cycle on or before the date of putting the application in order for grant. The office prepares the file
for grant of patent after this date. At times the application is amended on very last date by the
applicant in such a case the applicant is required to complete the file submitting freshly typed copy
of the amended portion of the complete specification. This procedure is required to be completed
simultaneously.
Consideration of the Report by Controller and issuance of FER
The Controller considers the report of the examiner ordinarily within one month from the
date of the receipt of such report and a gist of objections, if any, is sent to the applicant in
the form of a report – First Examination Report (FER) - along with the application and
specification, if required. If there is no objection to the grant of patent and no pre-grant
opposition under Section 25(1) is pending, the patent is granted at the earliest.
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The FER is sent to the applicant, even when the request for examination has been filed by a
person interested. An intimation regarding the issue of FER is given to such person
interested.
First Examination Report may contain office objections relating to:
a. Lack of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.
b. Subject matter relating to a category, which falls within the purview of Sections 3
and 4.
c. Non-fulfillment of any other requirement under the Act.
The applicant is required to comply with all the requirements imposed upon him by the Act as
communicated through FER or subsequent communication, at the earliest. However, if applicant
fails to respond to the FER, within twelve months from the date of issuance of FER, the
application is deemed to have been abandoned under Section 21(1). A communication to that
effect is sent to the applicant for information.
If the response / amendment filed by the applicant do not satisfy the requirements laid down by
the Act, the Controller offers an opportunity of hearing and decides the case on merits.
When the applicant re-files the documents within twelve months, the application has to be
examined in a fresh manner by the examiner. Upon examination, if it is found that the
requirements of the Act have been met, the Patent is granted.
If the applicant contests any of the objections communicated to him by the Controller or he refiles his specification or other documents, along with his observations as to whether or not the
specification is to be amended, an opportunity of being heard is given, if requested by the
applicant.
After hearing the applicant, the Controller may specify or permit such amendment as he thinks
fit and grant the patent. The Controller may refuse to grant the patent unless the amendments
so specified are made or any other requirements of the Act and Rules are not complied with.
If the Controller differs with the report of the Examiner at any stage of the Examination and
Grant Process, he shall record the reasons for such disagreement in the file.
No refusal of patent is done without giving an opportunity of being heard under Section 14. An
order refusing an application under Section 15 shall be a speaking order. Such an order under
Section 15 is appeallable before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
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Chapter 10
Examination procedure at amended stage
Where a complete specification is amended under the provisions of the Act before the grant of
patent, the amended specification shall be examined and investigated in like manner as the original
specification [Sec. 13(3)].
Exercise of Discretionary Power by the Controller
Before acting adverse to any party, the Controller shall give an opportunity of being heard to the
party. The discretionary powers shall be exercised with due care and caution and not in an
arbitrary manner. Such reasons shall be taken judiciously and the reasons shall be recorded in
the file. However, this will not apply to actions resulting from ―deemed‖ provisions in the Act
and Rules.
A party desiring a hearing shall make the request for such hearing to the Controller at least ten
days in advance of the expiry of the time-limit specified in respect of the proceeding.
Before exercising any discretionary power under the Act or these rules which is likely to affect an
applicant for a patent or a party to a proceeding adversely, the Controller shall give such
applicant or party, a hearing, after giving him or them, ten days' notice of such hearing
ordinarily.
Page 81 of 115
Chapter 11
Abandoning, refusal and grant procedure
Abandoning
An application is treated as abandoned under section 21 if within the prescribed time line of 12
months the application is not put in order for grant by the applicant. Meaning thereby, that if
the applicant has not filed response of Examination reports during the prescribed period under
Rule 24B(4) then the application will proceed towards abandonment.
Important points for review before recommending abandonment:
1. FER/SER was sent on the proper address of service.
2. No response of FER/SER has been filed within prescribed time limits as evident from the file
tracker module.
Refusals
If however, the applicant has filed the response to the examination reports, but the examiner
and Controller are of the opinion that the official requirements (objections) are not fully
complied with the case may proceed for hearing under section 14 and the case may be refused
by the Controller if the applicant fails to comply with the official requirements even after
providing an opportunity of being heard with speaking order as to the non compliance of
requirements by the applicants.
Responding to arguments presented
In OA/16/2009/PT/DEL [262/2012] controller’s order stated that no documents were given
regarding the inventive step. But IPAB noted that “… it is seen from the reply dated 17th
November, 2008 that the appellant has given his reasons why there is inventive step. It is open
to the Controller to reject the contentions but when a specific case has been projected regarding
inventive step, it is not open to him to say that no submission was in fact made.
Clarity of text
In OA/16/2009/PT/DEL [262/2012] IPAB noted “… In the First Examination Report, in objection
No. 5, it is stated that the claims are not inventive in view of citations cited in ISR. The ISR only
refers to D1 for inventive step and D2 to D4 for novelty. The IPER also in its report has referred
Page 82 of 115
to D1 alone both for novelty and for inventive step. But the order does not indicate why the
Controller held that the invention lacks inventive step on the basis of D1 or D2 to D4. We repeat
again that as we have done in our judgment in Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, Mumbai Vs. F.
Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Switzerland in OA/8/2009/PT/CH (IPAB Order No. 250/2012) that it is
better to describe fully the documents cited before the Controller, at least once in the order that
is passed. The IPER, in the body of the report refers to D1, D2 or D4. But it contains a paragraph
titled “Cited Documents”, where the documents are described in detail. This is absolutely
essential. It is also better to have a heading for each ground on which the patentability is
decided, for example, novelty, obviousness, S.3(e) and so on and a finding given with regard to
each heading and the finding given against each head, which is dealt in the order. This will go a
great deal towards clarity of the order.”
Grants:
The Patent is granted as expeditiously as possible when
o
the application has not been refused by the Controller by virtue of any power vested in
him by this Act, or
o
the application has not been found to be in contravention of any of the provisions of the
Act, or
o
When there is no pre-grant representation pending before the grant of Patent or when
the Pre-Grant Opposition has been disposed of in favour of the applicant, the date of
grant of patent is the date on which the patent is granted by the Controller in the file.
o
The patent number is simultaneously generated. As the Patent Office has moved to
complete electronic processing, the fact of grant of Patent by the Controller and the
Patent Number is reflected on the official website on real time basis.
Consequences of grant
o
On the grant of patent, every patent is allotted a serial number by the electronic system.
A Certificate of Patent is generated in the prescribed format and an entry in the eregister is made simultaneously. In the present electronic system, the date of recordal of
Patent in the Register of Patents is the same as the date of grant of Patent by the
Controller.
o
The complete specification as granted is made available to public through official
website.
o
The application, specification and other related documents are open for public
inspection on payment of prescribed fee.
Page 83 of 115
o
The fact that the patent has been granted is published in the official journal of the
Patent Office.
o
On the grant of patent, the patentee is required to pay the accumulated fee within 3
months from the date of recordal of Patent in the Register of Patents, which is now the
same as the date of Certificate of Patent.
o
A post-grant opposition under section 25(2) can be filed by any person interested within
12 months from the date of publication of grant.
o
Every patentee and licensee has to furnish a statement regarding the working of the
patented invention on commercial scale in India at regular intervals (not less than six
months) in the prescribed format.
Page 84 of 115
Chapter 12
Disposal of post grant opposition
Post-grant opposition
 Any person interested can file a Notice of Opposition against the grant of Patent in the
prescribed format, in duplicate, within twelve months from the date of publication of grant of
patent at the appropriate Office.
 The date of grant of patent is the date on which the Controller grants a patent and since the
granting of patent is now only done through electronic module, the date and time of grant is
available to the public on a real time basis through the official website. Consequently, any
opposition filed after the date of grant will be treated as a post grant opposition.
 The opponent shall state the nature of his interest in the matter.
 Person interested includes a person engaged in, or in promoting research in the same field as
that to which the invention relates. It may be an organization that has a manufacturing or
trading interest in the goods connected with the patented article or which has a financial
interest in manufacturing such goods or which possesses Patents relating to the same subject.
 The post-grant opposition can be filed on the grounds as mentioned in Section 25(2), but no
other grounds.
 After receipt of Notice of Opposition, the Controller shall notify the patentee about the fact of
receipt of such notice, without any delay.
 A copy of the statement and evidence, if any, shall be delivered to the patentee by the
opponent.
 If the patentee desires to contest the opposition, he shall file a reply statement setting out fully
the grounds upon which the opposition is contested, and evidence if any, in support of his case
within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the copy of opponent‘s written
statement and evidence, if any, and deliver a copy to the opponent.
 If the patentee does not desire to contest or does not file his reply and evidence within two
months, the patent shall be deemed to have been revoked and the Controller shall issue the
order of revocation of Patent and the fact of revocation is entered in the register of patents.
 After receipt of reply from the patentee, the opponent may file his evidence in reply within one
month from the date of delivery to him of a copy of the patentee‘s reply statement and
evidence. Evidence in reply of the opponent shall be strictly confined to the matters in the
patentee‘s evidence. The opponent shall deliver a copy of his reply statement and evidence to
the patentee.
Page 85 of 115
 No further evidence shall be delivered by either party, except with the leave or direction of
Controller.
 With respect to further evidence filing, either party shall do so before the Controller‘s
notification on the fixation of the date of hearing.
 Where a specification or other document in a language other than English is referred to in the
notice, statement or evidence, an attested translation thereof in duplicate in English should be
furnished along with such notice, statement or evidence, as the case may be.
 Evidence shall be filed on affidavits as required under Rule 126.
 Exhibits shall be filed as required under Rule 127.
Constitution of Opposition Board
 After receipt of Notice of Opposition, an Opposition Board is constituted by the Controller, by
order, to examine such notice including all the documents filed under rule 57-60 in connection
with opposition by the opponent as well as patentee.
 The Board shall submit the report with reasons on each ground taken in the Notice of Opposition
after examining all statements, documents and evidence submitted by the parties, as a joint
recommendation within three months from the date on which all such documents were
forwarded to them.
 The Opposition Board consists of three members with one of them as Chairman.
 The examiner may be a member of the Board. But, the examiner who has dealt with the
application for patent during the prosecution proceedings for grant of patent thereon shall not
be included as a member of the Board.
 If further evidence is taken on record by the Controller, by an order in writing, the same shall be
forwarded to the Opposition Board for their consideration. This shall also apply when such
further evidence is taken on record after the receipt of report from Opposition Board.
In OA/4/2009/PT/CH IPAB made it clear that whenever the Opposition Board makes
recommendations, both the patentee and the opponent are entitled to know the contents of the
recommendations before they attend the hearing. IPAB also endorsed the view that the board
members may be present in the hearing so that either party can ask question them as to how their
findings were arrived at.
Page 86 of 115
Hearing in post grant opposition matters
 After receiving the recommendation of Opposition Board the Controller shall fix without undue
delay, a date and time for the hearing of the opposition and inform the parties, at least ten days
in advance.
 On receipt of the notice of hearing, if either party desires to be heard, he shall inform the
Controller by a notice along with the prescribed fee.
 The Controller may require the members of Opposition Board to be present in the hearing
 The Controller may refuse to hear any party which has not given such notice and fee.
 If either party intends to rely on any Publication at the hearing not already mentioned in the
notice of opposition, statement or evidence, he shall give to the other party and to the
Controller a notice of his intention to do so, together with details of such publication. Such
notice shall be given at least five days before the date of hearing.
 After hearing the party or parties desirous of being heard, or if neither party desires to be heard,
then without a hearing, and after taking into consideration the recommendation of Opposition
Board, the Controller shall decide the opposition, i.e., he may revoke the patent, or order
amendments in the Patent or refuse the opposition and issue a speaking order.
 If amendment of specification or any other document is ordered by the Controller, the patentee
shall submit such amended documents to the office within a reasonable time, as directed by the
Controller.
In OA/13/2011/PT/MUM IPAB held “in patent cases we cannot ignore the prior art citations even
where the additional documents are filled at the appeal stage particularly when they are relevant.
However to meet the requirement of natural justice the contesting party shall be given an
opportunity to defend and present their argument which was given to the appellant in the present
case.
Page 87 of 115
Chapter 13
Disposal of post grant amendments
Amendments after the grant of patents
 After the grant of patent, the patentee may apply in Form 13 for an amendment of the
application for patent, complete specification or any document relating thereto to be amended
subject to such conditions, if any, as the Controller thinks fit. Such a request may be filed in
Form- 13 with prescribed fee. Such request may also be made for amendment of priority date.
 The request shall state the nature of the proposed amendment, highlighted in an annexed copy
along with the reasons. The amendments are allowable only by way of disclaimer, correction or
explanation. Such amendments shall be for the purpose of incorporation of actual fact only.
Further, no amendment of a complete specification shall be allowed the effect of which would
be that the specification as amended would claim or describe matter not in substance disclosed
or shown in the specification before the amendment, or the amended claim(s) do not fall wholly
within the scope of claim(s) of the specification before the amendment.
 An application for amendment may be published along with the nature of proposed
amendment. However, if the nature of proposed amendment is substantive, the application for
amendment shall be published. For instance, any application for amending the complete
specification or the claims or the application for patent shall be published.
 The amended pages have to be filed in duplicate by the applicant along with duly cancelled
original pages.
 Any person interested may file a notice of opposition in Form-14 within three months from the
date of publication of the application for amendment. Where such a notice of opposition is filed,
the Controller notifies the applicant for amendment.
 After giving an opportunity to the applicant and opponent, if any, the Controller shall dispose off
the case. The procedure specified in rules 57 to 63 for post grant opposition for filing of written
statement, reply statement; reply evidence, hearing and costs shall apply in this case.
 Amendments allowed after the grant of patent shall be published.
 A leave to amend the complete specification obtained by fraud is a ground for revocation of
patent under Section 64.
 If any suit for infringement is pending before a Court or any proceeding for revocation of the
Patent is pending before the High Court, the Controller shall not pass any order allowing or
refusing the application for amendment.
Page 88 of 115
Chapter 14
Review of Controllers’ decision (procedure)
The statute provides for review of the Controller’s decision under section 77 of the Patents Act 1970.
The applicant need to file Form 24 within the time limits prescribed in Rule 130. The Controller shall
act in accordance with the prescribed norms under Rule 130 and decide that matter on the merit of
each case. The Controller, in any proceeding before him under the Patents Act, 1970, shall have the
powers of a civil court while trying a civil suit under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908). The
review under section 77 is dealt in the like manner.
Who may file the review petition:
Any person considering himself aggrieved—
by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from which no appeal has been
preferred,
by a decree or order from which no appeal is allowed,
Grounds for review:
discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due
diligence was not within petitioner’s knowledge or could not be produced by him at the time
when the decree was passed or order made, or
on account of some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record or,
for any other sufficient reason
A party who is not appealing from a decree or order may apply for a review of judgment
notwithstanding the pendency of an appeal by some other party except where the ground of such
appeal is common to the applicant and the appellant, or when, being respondent, he can present to
the Appellate Court, the case on which he applies for the review.
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on reviews:
Hon'ble Supreme Court 11 held that “An error which has to be established by a long drawn process of
reasoning on points where there may conceivably be two opinions can hardly be said to be an error
apparent on the face of the record. Where an alleged error is far from self-evident and if it can be
established, it has to be established, by lengthy and complicated arguments, such an error cannot be
cured by a writ or certiorari according to the rule governing the power of the superior Court to issue
such a writ.” The very fact that the Learned Counsel for the appellant had to labour for several hours
to make her submissions would show that if there were errors in the decisions, it had to be decided
only by a process of reasoning that are not apparent on the face of the records.
11
Satyanarayan Laxminarayan Hegde and Ors. vs. Mallikarjun Bhavanappa Tirumale (AIR 1960 SC 137)
Page 89 of 115
Annexure I
Table Showing the time provided under the Patents Act and Rules
Sl.
1.
Action
(a) Application for grant of patent,
Section
Rule
7
Form
Prescribed Time
1
claiming priority date, under Paris
Convention/ WTO.
(b) Filing of National Phase
23
application under PCT.
1
31 months from
the priority date.
(c) Filing of priority documents
claiming priority under Paris
Convention/WTO.
(d) Filing of Divisional Application.
16
1
At
any
time
before the grant
of patent.
(e)Filing of application for Patent of
Addition.
54
1
Date
should
of
filing
be
the
same or later than
the
application.
(f)Filing of Complete Specification
after Provisional Specification.
mother
9(1)
2
Within 12 months
Page 90 of 115
from the date of
filing
of
the
provisional
specification.
2.
(a) Submission of Statement and
8
Undertakings regarding foreign
12(1)
(A)
3
Along
with
the
application
or
within 6 months
applications.
from the date of
filing of the patent
application
(b) Submission of Statement, when
12(3)
Within 6 months
so required by the Controller under
from the date of
Section 8(2)
communication
Submission of priority document
3.
8(2)
138
121
Priority document
duly certified by the competent
shall be filed along
authority. If the priority document
with
is not in English, corresponding in
application
English duly certified.
within 3 months
the
or
from the date of
communication by
the controller
Filing of priority document in case
Priority
Page 91 of 115
4.
of national phase application.
document/English
21
translation of the
priority document
shall
be
filed
within 31 months
from the date of
priority under PCT
regulation
or
within 3 months
from the date of
communication by
the Controller.
5.
Filing of declaration as to
10(6)
13(6)
5
Along with the
application or
Inventorship of the invention
before the
expiration of 1
month, as the
Controller may
allow on an
application made
in Form 4, from
the date of filing,
with fees.
6.
Filing of Proof of Right.
7(2)
10
Within 6 months
after the filing of
the application.
Page 92 of 115
Note:
For the
purpose
of
rule
months
6
this
period is to be
reckoned from the
actual
date
of
filing in India in
case of National
Phase Application.
7.
Filing of Provisional/Complete
13
2
Immediately along
with
Specification
the
application.
8.
Numbering of patent application
An application is
11
numbered serially
denoting the place
where it has been
filed and the year,
in which is it filed.
9.
Submission of Power of Attorney, if
127 &
so required.
132
135
26
Along
with
the
application failing
which
on
invitation
the
before
grant
of
Page 93 of 115
patent.
10.
(a) Publication of application,
11A(1)
After the expiry of
24
where complete specification has
18 months from
been filed and no secrecy direction
the date of filing
is imposed and application is not
or
withdrawn or abandoned.
whichever
priority
earlier,
is
shall
ordinarily
be
published within 1
month before the
expiry
of
that
period.
(b) Request for Publication
11A(2)
24A
9
Ordinarily 1
month from the
date of request
for publication.
(c) Deposit of biological material
mentioned in the complete
11A(6)
Depository
specification
biological material
shall be available
to
the
public
immediately after
publication
the
with
depository
institution
(d) Publication of Grant
43(2)
Page 94 of 115
NO TIME LINE
11.
(a) Filing of Request for
11B
18
Within 48 months
from the date of
Examination
filing or priority
date
whichever
expires earlier.
Within 48 months
from the date of
priority or date of
(b) Filing of Request where secrecy
fling or within 6
provision has been revoked.
months from the
date of revocation
of
secrecy
direction,
whichever is later.
12.
Referring the request for
12
examination to the Examiner by the
24B(2)(
Ordinarily within 1
i)
month from the
date of request or
Controller
1 month from the
date
of
publication
whichever is later.
13.
Submission of report by the
12(2)
Examiner to the Controller
24B(2)
Ordinarily
1-3
(ii)
months from the
date of reference
of the application
by the Controller.
14.
Disposal of the examination report
14
24B(2)(
Ordinarily
1
Page 95 of 115
by the Controller
month from the
iii)
date of receipt of
such report
15.
Submission of report to the
12(2)
Controller by the examiner (to
24B(2)(
Ordinarily within 1
ii)
month
but
not
whom the application, specification
exceeding
and other documents have been
months from the
referred to)
date of reference
3
of the application
by the Controller
16.
Post dating of the application at the
No post dating to
17(1)
a date later than 6
request of the applicant
months from the
actual
date
of
filing.
17.
Substitution of applicant
20
34
6
Before the grant
of
patent
the
relevant
documents, such
as
assignment,
agreement
(official
copy/notarized
copy) to be filed.
18.
Potential infringement, reference to
19
33
Within 2 months
the earlier patent required to be
from the date of
mentioned in the specification,
communication by
provided the validity of the patent
the Controller to
Page 96 of 115
is not contested by the applicant.
19.
Time period for putting the
the applicant.
21
application in order for grant
24B
(4)
12 months from
the date of date of
First Examination
Report
20.
Consideration of the report of
14
Examiner by Controller, where the
28A &
Opportunity
for
28
hearing
by
specification is required to be
Controller to the
amended.
applicant
by
providing 10 days
notice,
if
the
applicant contest
the
objection.
The
entire
proceeding
required
is
to
be
completed before
the expiry of 12
months from the
date of FER.
21.
22.
Power of Controller to refuse or
Entire proceeding
15
grant the application, if the
is required to be
requirement of the Act or any rule
completed before
has not been complied with, the
the expiry of 12
Controller may refuse or grant after
months from the
necessary amendment.
date of FER.
Grant of patent after the
publication
43
55
(1A)
No patent can be
granted
before
the expiry of 6
months from the
date
of
publication under
Page 97 of 115
section 11A.
23.
Power of Controller to make
13 & 15
29
A
period of 2
amendment in case of anticipation
month
is
by prior claiming
allowable
for
removing
the
objections
by
postponing
the
grant of patent.
24.
Pre-grant opposition
25(1)
55
Any person can
file
representation,
including
statement
evidence
and
in
support, by way of
opposition against
the
grant
patent,
(a)Submission of reply statement
25(1)
55(4)
and evidence by the applicant for
the
of
between
date
publication
of
and
date of grant.
patent.
Within 3 months
(b) Disposal of the pre-grant
opposition, after completion of all
25(1)
55(6)
from the date of
notice
by
the
Controller.
formalities.
Within 1 month
from the date of
completion of the
proceedings,
decisions
in
respect
of
Page 98 of 115
grant/refusal will
be issued.
25.
Post-grant opposition along with
25(2)
55A
statement and evidence.
7
Any
interested
person may give
Notice
of
Opposition before
the expiry of 1
year
from
the
date
of
publication
of
grant of a patent.
26.
(a) Filing of reply statement and
25(2)
58(1)
Reply
statement
and evidence to
evidence
be
filed
by
patentee within a
period
of
2
months from the
date of receipt of
the copy of the
written statement
and
opponent’s
evidence.
Reply evidence to
(b) Filing of reply evidence by
opponent
be filed by the
25(2)
59
opponent with 1
month from the
date of delivery of
reply
statement
and evidence.
Page 99 of 115
Recommendation
of the Board to be
given
within
3
(c) Constitution of Opposition Board
25(3)(b) & 56(4)
months from the
and it’s proceedings
25(4)
date of forwarding
of all documents
in the post-grant
opposition
proceedings.
Hearing
to
be
fixed to decide the
opposition with a
10 days notice to
both the parties.
(d) Hearing
25(4)
62(1)
Within 3 months
from the date of
order
of
the
Controller.
(e) Treating of the patent as patent
26(1)
of opponent in case of “Obtaining”
27.
Permission to apply for patent
outside India
39
63A
12
71
25
(1&2)
Controller
dispose
shall
the
request ordinarily
within a period of
21 days from the
Page 100 of 115
date of request,
except in case of
inventions relating
to
defence
atomic
&
energy
applications.
28.
Form of patent
43
The
74
patent
certificate
shall
ordinarily
be
issued within 7
days
from
the
date of grant.
29.
Terms of patent
53(1)
81 &
80(1A)
4
The renewal fee
to be paid at the
expiration of the
2nd year from the
date of patent to
keep the patent in
force or of any
succeeding
year
and the same shall
be remitted to the
Patent
Office
before
the
expiration of the
2nd
or
the
succeeding
and
year
may
extended
for
be
a
period
of
6
months
on
a
request in form 4.
Page 101 of 115
30.
Amendment of application and
57
specification
81(3)(b
14
Any person
interested in
)
opposing the
application for
amendment shall
give a notice of
opposition in
Form 14 within 3
months from the
date of
publication of the
application.
31.
Application for restoration of lapsed
60
84(1)
15
When a patent
has ceased to
patent
have effect by
reason of failure
to pay any
renewal fee,
within the
stipulated period
the patentee may
file an application
for the restoration
of the patent,
within 18 months
from the date on
which the patent
ceased to have
effect.
32.
Procedure for the disposal of the
restoration of lapsed patent
61
84(2)
Where
the
Controller
satisfied
is
that
a
prima facie case
Page 102 of 115
for the restoration
of any patent has
not been made
out,
he
shall
intimate
the
applicant
accordingly
and
unless
the
applicant makes a
request
to
heard
be
in
mater
the
within
1
month from the
date
of
such
intimation,
the
Controller
shall
refuse
the
application.
33.
Opposition to Restoration
61(2)
85(1)
14
The
notice
of
opposition to be
filed
within
2
months from the
date
of
publication of the
restoration.
34.
Power to extend time by the
138(1)
Save as otherwise
Controller
& (2)
provided in the
Chapter
these
III
of
rules, rule
24B, sub-rule (4)
of rule 55 and
sub-rule (1A) of
rule 80, the time
Page 103 of 115
prescribed
by
these
for
rules
doing of any act or
the taking of any
proceeding there
under
may
be
extended by the
Controller for a
period
of
1
month,
if
he
thinks it fit to do
so and upon such
terms as he may
direct.
Any request for
extension of time
made under these
rules
shall
be
made before the
expiry
of
prescribed period.
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Annexure II
Official Notification with regard to Atomic Energy
Atomic Energy:
“Prescribed Substances, Prescribed equipment and Technology ”
have been notified
by the
Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy vide S.O.61(E), published in the
Gazette of India (extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, sub-section (ii), dated 20th January, 2006.
A copy of the Notification is presented below.
S.O. 61(E).-
In pursuance of clauses (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 and Section
3 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (No.33 of 1962) and in supersession of the notifications
of the Government of India in the Department of Atomic Energy vide numbers S.O.211 (E)
dated the 15th March, 1995 and S.O.212(E) dated the 15th March, 1995, the Central
Government hereby notifies the substances, equipment and technology specified in the
Schedule appended hereto as Prescribed Substances, Prescribed Equipment and
Technology.
Category – 0: Nuclear materials, nuclear-related other materials, equipment and
technology.
OA
Prescribed substances
Note: Any radioactive material in Category OA shall additionally attract the
provisions of the Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004 made under
the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the provisions of Section-16 of the Atomic
Energy Act,1962.
OA1 Source Material
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OA101
Uranium containing the mixture of isotopes occurring in nature
OA102
Uranium depleted in the isotope 235.
OA103
Thorium
OA104
Any of the foregoing in the form of metal, alloy, chemical compound, or
concentrate or any substance.
OA105
Any other material containing one or more of the foregoing.
Prescribed quantitative limits: as given below and in any period of 12 months:
a.
Uranium (containing the mixture of isotopes in nature) exceeding 100
kilograms.
b.
Depleted uranium (uranium depleted in the isotope 235 below that occurring in
nature) exceeding 1000 kilograms.
c.
Thorium exceeding 1000 kilograms.
OA2
Special Fissionable Material
OA201
Plutonium-239
OA202
Uranium-233
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OA203
Uranium enriched in the isotopes 235 or 233
OA204
Neptunium.
OA205
Any material containing one or more of the foregoing
OA206
Such other fissionable material determined by the Central Government from
time to time, but the term “special fissionable material “ which does not
include source material.
Note:
OA3
Any quantity of special fissionable material is prescribed substance.
Other Materials.
‘Other Materials’ means non-nuclear materials for reactors, nuclear related
dual-use materials indicate below and such materials as determined by the
Central Government from time to time.
OA301
Deuterium, heavy water (deuterium oxide) and any other deuterium
compound, in which the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen atoms exceeds
1:5000, in quantities exceeding 5 kilograms of deuterium in one consignment
or 25 kilograms of deuterium in any period of 12 months.
OA302
Nuclear grade graphite / carbon, having a purity level better than 5 parts per
million (ppm) boron equivalent and with a density greater than 1.5 gram/cc
in quantities exceeding 30 metric tons in any period of 12 months.
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OA303
Zirconium with hafnium content of less than 1 part to 500 parts of zirconium
by weight (i.e. less than 2000 ppm) in the form of metal, its alloys,
compounds, manufactures thereof, waste or scrap of any of the foregoing.
OA304
Beryllium, its compound, alloys and its minerals/concentrates including Beryl
but excluding:
a. beryllium windows used for x-ray machines and gamma rays detectors and
b. beryl in the form of emeralds or aquamarines.
OA305
Lithium enriched in the Lithium-6 (6Li) isotope to greater than its natural isotope
abundance (i.e. more than 7.5%) and the products or devices containing enriched
lithium such as elemental lithium, alloys, compounds, mixtures containing
lithium, manufactures thereof, waste or scrap of any of the foregoing.
OA306
Niobium and Tantalum, their metals, alloys and minerals including columbite
and tantalite.
OA307
Titanium alloys having both of the following characteristics:
a. ‘Capable of’ an ultimate tensile strength of 900 Mpa or more at 293 K (20º);
and
b. In the form of tubes or cylindrical solid forms (including forgings) with an
outside diameter of more than 75 mm.
Technical note: The phrase ‘capable of’ encompasses titanium alloys before or after
heat treatment.
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OA308
Tritium, tritium compounds or mixtures containing tritium in which the ratio
of tritium to hydrogen atoms exceeds 1 part in 1000, except when utilized in
such quantities and for such purposes as for organic labeled compounds, Gas
Filled Sources and as Tritiated Water for radiotracer studies.
OA309
Hafnium:
Hafnium metal, alloys containing more than 60% hafnium by weight,
hafnium compounds containing more than 60% hafnium by weight,
manufacturers thereof, and waste or scrap of any of the foregoing.
OA310
Radium-226:
Radium-226 (226Ra), radium-226 alloys, radium-226 compounds, mixtures
containing radium-226, manufactures thereof, and products or devices
containing any of the foregoing, except medical applicators and a product or
device containing less than 0.37 GBq (10mCi) of Ra-226 in any form.
OA311
Boron
Boron enriched in the Boron-10(10B) isotope to greater than its natural
isotopic abundance as follows:
Elemental boron, compounds, mixtures containing boron, manufactures
thereof, waste or scrap of any of the foregoing.
OA312
Helium-3
Helium-3 (³He), mixtures containing helium-3, and products or devices
containing any of the foregoing.
Note: A product or device containing less than 1 gm of Helium-3 is excluded.
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OA313
Alpha-emitting radionuclides:
Alpha-emitting radionuclides having an alpha half-life of 10 days or greater
but less than 200 years, in the following forms:
a. Elemental;
b. Compounds having a total alpha activity of 37 GBq per kg or greater;
c. Mixtures having a total alpha activity of 37GBq per kg or greater;
d. Products or devices containing any of the foregoing.
Alpha emitters controlled by this item include:
Actinium-225
Actinium-227
Americium-242m
Californium-248
Calfornium-250
Californium-253
Calfornium-254
Californium-252
Carium-240
Curium-241
Curium-242
Curium-243
Curium-244
Einsteinium-252
Einsteinium-253
Einsteinium-254
Einsteinium-255
Gadolinium-148
Mendelevioum-258
Plutonium-236
Plutonium-237
Plutonium-241
Polonium-209
Fermium-257
Neptunium-235
Polonium-208
Radium-223
Thorium-228
Thorium-227
Uranium-230
Uranium-232
Plutonium-238
Polonium-210
OA314 *Titanium ores and concentrates (Ilmenite, Rutile and Leucoxene)
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OA315 *Zirconium, its alloys and compounds and minerals/concentrates including zircon
*Note:
These items (OA314 and OA315) shall remain prescribed substances
only till such time the Policy on Exploitation of Beach Sand Minerals notified vide
Resolution number 8/1(1)/97-PSU/1422 dated the 6th October, 1998 is
adopted/revised/modified by the Ministry of Mines or till the 1st January 2007,
whichever occurs earlier and shall cease to be so thereafter.
OB
Prescribed Equipment
OB001
Nuclear Reactors; associated equipment, components and systems specially
designed, prepared, or adapted or used or intended to be used in such
reactors as follows:
a.
Complete nuclear reactors
b.
Nuclear reactor vessels
c.
Nuclear reactor fuel charging and discharging machines
d.
Nuclear reactor control rods and equipment
e.
Nuclear reactor pressure tubes
f.
Zirconium tubes and assembles of tubes in which hafnium to zirconium ratio
is 1:500 or less
g.
Primary coolant pumps
h.
Nuclear reactor internals
i.
Heat exchangers (steam generators) for use in the primary coolant circuit of
a nuclear reactor
j.
Neutron detection and measuring instruments for determining neutron flux
levels within the core of a nuclear reactor
OB002
Plants for processing, production, concentration, conversion or recovery of
Prescribed Substances (such as uranium, plutonium, thorium, deuterium, heavy
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water, tritium, lithium); associated equipment, components and system, specially
designed, prepared or adapted or used or intended to be used in such plants
including but not limited to:
a.
Plants for production or concentration of deuterium, heavy water
1.
Water-Hydrogen Sulphide Exchange Towers
2.
Blowers and Compressors for hydrogen-sulphide gas circulation
3.
Ammonia-Hydrogen Exchange Towers greater than or equal to 35m in height
with diameters of 1.5m to 2.5m
4.
Tower Internals and Stage Pumps
5.
Ammonia Crackers with operating pressures greater than or equal to 3 MPa
6.
Infrared Absorption Analyzers capable of ‘on-line’ hydrogen/deuterium ratio
analysis
7.
Catalytic Burners for conversion of enriched deuterium gas into heavy water
8.
Complete heavy water upgrade systems or columns therefore
9.
b.
Plants for the conversion of uranium
c.
Plants for the conversion of plutonium
d.
Tritium facilities or plants, and equipments therefore
e.
Lithium isotope separation facilities of plants, and equipment
therefore.
OB003
Plants for reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuel and equipment,
components and systems specially designed, prepared or adapted or used or
intended to be used in such plants, including but not limited to:
a.
b.
Irradiated fuel element chopping machines designed for remote operation
Dissolvers capable of withstanding hot and highly corrosive for dissolution of
irradiated nuclear fuel and which can be removed loaded and maintained.
c.
Solvent extractors and solvent extraction equipment resistant to the corrosive
effect of nitric acid.
d.
Chemical holding or storage vessels resistant to the corrosive effect of nitric acid.
Page 112 of 115
e.
Industrial equipment including assemblies and components as follows:
1. High density (lead glass or other) radiation shielding windows
2. Radiation hardened TV cameras, or lenses therefore
3. ‘Robots’ or ‘end effectors’ specially designed for handling high explosives; and
control units therefore
4. Remote manipulators that can be used to provide remote actions in radiochemical
separation operations or hot cells
OB004
Plants for treatment, handling, storage and transportation of radioactive
wastes from nuclear reactors or from plants for processing Source Materials or
Special Fissionable Material or from nuclear reprocessing plants; irradiated nuclear
fuel; Special Fissionable Materials, and equipment specially designed, prepared,
adapted, or intended to be used therefor.
OB005
All systems, associated equipment, components for separation or enrichment of
isotopes of uranium, plutonium, lithium or boron, other than analytical instruments, specially
designed, prepared, adapted, used or intended to be used therefor as follows:
a. Gas centrifuges and assemblies and components specially designed or prepared for
use in gas Centrifuges
b. Specially designed or prepared auxiliary systems, equipment and components for gas
centrifuge enrichment plants
c.
Specially designed or prepared assemblies and components for use in
gaseous diffusion enrichment
d. Specially designed or prepared auxiliary system, equipment and components for use
in gaseous diffusion enrichment.
e. Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for use in
aerodynamic enrichment plants
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f.
Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for
use in chemical exchange or ion exchange enrichment plants
g.
Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for
use in laser-based enrichment plants
h.
Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for
use in plasma separation enrichment plants.
i.
Specially designed or prepared systems, equipment and components for
use in electromagnetic enrichment plants.
OB006
Plants for the fabrication of nuclear reactor fuel elements, and equipment
specially designed or prepared therefore including but not limited to:
a. fully automatic pellet inspection stations specially designed or prepared for checking
final dimensions and surface defects of the fuel pellets;
b. automatic welding machines specially designed or prepared for welding end caps
onto the fuel pins (or rods);
c. automatic test and inspection stations specially designed or prepared for checking
the integrity of completed fuel pins (or rods).
Item ‘c’ typically includes equipment for: 1) x-ray examination of pin (or rod) end cap
welds, 2) helium leak detection from pressurized pins (or rods), and 3) gamma-ray
scanning of the pins (or rods) to check for correct loading of the fuel pellets inside.
OB007
Plants or systems for production, handling, storage and transportation of
Radioisotopes in quantities exceeding 100 Curies (3.7 X 10 12 Becquerel).
OB008
Neutron generators including neutron chain reacting assemblies and fusion
assemblies of all kinds for producing fissile materials.
OC Technology
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Technology and software for the development, production or use of prescribed
substances or prescribed equipment specified in OA or OB
Note:
The numbering system followed in this Schedule is in harmony with the numbering
system followed in the Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technology
(SC) MET) List in Appendix – 3 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) Classification.
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