THE PATENTS ACT, 1970
[As amended by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021]
CHAPTER 7 – PROVISIONS FOR SECRECY OF CERTAIN INVENTIONS
35. SECRECY DIRECTIONS RELATING TO INVENTIONS RELEVANT FOR DEFENCE PURPOSES.
(1) Where, in respect of an application made before or after the commencement of this Act for a patent, it appears to the Controller that the invention is one of a class notified to him by the Central Government as relevant for defence purposes, or, where otherwise the invention appears to him to be so relevant, he may give directions for prohibiting or restricting the publication of information with respect to the invention or the communication of such information.
(2) Where the Controller gives any such directions as are referred to in subsection (1), he shall give notice of the application and of the directions to the Central Government, and the Central Government shall, upon receipt of such notice, consider whether the publication of the invention would be prejudicial to the defence of India, and if upon such consideration, it appears to it that the publication of the invention would not so prejudice, give notice to the Controller to that effect, who shall thereupon revoke the directions and notify the applicant accordingly.
(3) Without prejudice to the provisions contained in sub-section (1), where the Central Government is of opinion that an invention in respect of which the Controller has not given any directions under sub-section (1), is relevant for defence purposes, it may at any time before grant of patent notify the Controller to that effect, and thereupon the provisions of that sub-section shall apply as if the invention where one of the class notified by the Central Government, and accordingly the Controller shall give notice to the Central Government of the directions issued by him.
36. SECRECY DIRECTIONS TO BE PERIODICALLY REVIEWED.
(1) The question whether an invention in respect of which directions have been given under section 35 continues to be relevant for defence purposes shall be reconsidered by the Central Government at intervals of six months or on a request made by the applicant which is found to be reasonable by the Controller and if, on such reconsideration it appears to the Central Government that the publication of the invention would no longer be prejudicial to the defence of India or in case of an application filed by a foreign applicant it is found that the invention is published outside India it shall forthwith give notice to the Controller to revoke the direction and the Controllers shall thereupon revoke the directions previously given by him.
(2) The result of every re-consideration under sub-section (1), shall be communicated to the applicant within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.
37. CONSEQUENCES OF SECRECY DIRECTIONS.
(1) So long as any directions under section 35 are in force in respect of an application—
(a) the Controller shall not pass an order refusing to grant the same; and
(b) notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no appeal shall lie from any order of the Controller passed in respect thereof:
Provided that the application may, subject to the directions, proceed up to the stage of grant of the patent, but the application and the specification found to be in order for grant of the patent shall not be published, and no patent shall be granted in pursuance of that application.
(2) Where a complete specification filed in pursuance of an application for a patent for an invention in respect of which directions have been given under section 35 is found to be in order for grant of the patent during the continuance in force of the directions, then—
(a) if, during the continuance in force of the directions, any use of the invention is made by or on behalf of, or to the order of the Government, the provisions of sections 100,101 and 103 shall apply in relation to that use as if the patent had been granted for the invention; and
(b) if it appears to the Central Government that the applicant for the patent has suffered hardship by reason of the continuance in force of the directions, the Central Government may make to him such payment (if any) by way of solatium as appears to the Central Government to be reasonable having regard to the novelty and utility of the invention and the purpose for which it is designed, and to any other relevant circumstances.
(3) Where a patent is granted in pursuance of an application in respect of which directions have been given under section 35, no renewal fee shall be payable in respect of any period during which those directions were in force.
38. REVOCATION OF SECRECY DIRECTIONS AND EXTENSION OF TIME.
When any direction given under section 35 is revoked by the Controller, then, notwithstanding any provision of this Act specifying the time within which any step should be taken or any act done in connection with an application for the patent, the Controller may, subject to such conditions, if any, as he thinks fit to impose, extend the time for doing anything required or authorised to be done by or under this Act in connection with the application whether or not that time has previously expired.
39. RESIDENTS NOT TO APPLY FOR PATENTS OUTSIDE INDIA WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.
(1) No person resident in India shall, except under the authority of a written permit sought in the manner prescribed and granted by or on behalf of the Controller, make or cause to be made any application outside India for the grant of a patent for an invention unless —
(a) an application for a patent for the same invention has been made in India, not less than six weeks before the application outside India; and
(b) either no direction has been given under sub-section (1) of section 35 in relation to the application in India, or all such directions have been revoked.
(2) The Controller shall dispose of every such application within such period as may be prescribed:
Provided that if the invention is relevant for defence purpose or atomic energy, the Controller shall not grant permit without the prior consent of the Central Government.
(3) This section shall not apply in relation to an invention for which an application for protection has first been filed in a country outside India by a person resident outside India.
40. LIABILITY FOR CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 35 OR SECTION 39.
Without prejudice to the provisions contained in Chapter XX, if in respect of an application for a patent any person contravenes any direction as to secrecy given by the Controller under section 35 or makes or causes to be made an application for grant of a patent outside India in contravention of section 39 the application for patent under this Act shall be deemed to have been abandoned and the patent granted, if any, shall be liable to be revoked under section 64.
41. FINALITY OF ORDERS OF CONTROLLER AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.
All orders of the Controller giving directions as to secrecy as well as all orders of the Central Government under this Chapter shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court on any ground whatsoever.
42. SAVINGS RESPECTING DISCLOSURE TO GOVERNMENT.
Nothing in this Act shall be held to prevent the disclosure by the Controller of information concerning an application for a patent or a specification filed in pursuance thereof to the Central Government for the purpose of the application or specification being examined for considering whether an order under this Chapter should be made or whether an order so made should be revoked.