Before embarking on the journey from patent application to grant, it is essential for an innovator to conduct a prior art search. A search of this nature helps one determine the novelty of his invention and makes the process more economical and cost effective. The report is inclusive of all similar patents and relevant literature, helping an applicant gauge the chances of a patent grant.
Drafting of patent application is the most vital aspect of the entire patenting process and decides the fate of an invention. It is here that the innovators ideas and translated into a document form. It includes all aspects of the invention for which one seeks protection. Hence it is the ingenuity of a patent claim that can fetch an applicant the best possible patent.
A grant of patent gives the inventor or applicant the monopoly right of manufacturing and selling a particular patent. Due to the magnitude of a grant of patent it would be unfortunate if a patent is given to an undeserving or frivolous invention. Opposition proceedings are allowed to curb such instance and give a chance to the applicant to defend and justify his invention.
Despite the long and stringent process of granting patents, certain unworthy inventions are granted the status of patents. However, the legal framework does give grounds on which these patents can be invalidated before their date of expiration. These grounds include existence of prior art, intentional withholding of information, inequitable conduct etc.
An invention involves intellect, time, patience and high costs; hence its protection is indisputable. This is where patent registration comes into play. Registration bars anyone from using ones patents without his permission.
The sum of all processes from conducting prior art search to the actual grant of patent is called patent prosecution. Patent prosecution can be much longer than one can predict and requires a large amount of resources. Therefore a smart strategic plan is required to increase the chance of success and also make it less expensive and faster.
Managing, evaluating, and valuing patents plays a vital role in enabling a company gain business value from its patents. All steps from patent portfolio management to commercialization of a patent require a well defined policy, and process. Mining exercises and Audits at regular intervals not only help companies excavate untapped inventions, but also ensure patent process compliance. Based on a company’s patent strategy, the quality of its patent portfolio, and its business value need to be consistently analyzed and strategized.
With the upsurge of competition importance of patent portfolio management has also increased. Effective patent portfolio management can help businesses identify opportunities and mitigate risk factors, while maintaining and edge over competitors. Constant and proactive reviewing and management of a patent portfolio also keeps it in conformity with the commercial aims of the business.
Patent litigation is tedious, expensive, uncertain but inevitable in certain cases. Due to the unpredictable nature of patent litigation, a meticulous strategy is required to assert ones intellectual property right, which requires a sound knowledge of not only the statutory framework, but also the functioning of the Indian legal system. A well-planned litigation aligned with the business and commercial goals of an organization can increase its business value considerably.