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not to have been granted for any legal reason, or if the specification be insufficient or ambiguous, or the claims not novel or patentable.
Procedure.—Patent applications are examined as to whether they are in order or whether they are in conflict with others applied for or granted within the preceding twelve months, but not otherwise as to the novelty. There is an appeal from the examiners' decisions.
If allowed the application is published at once or after a delay of not exceeding six months, at the option of the applicant. Oppositions.-During the
the next ensuing two months, after the patent is allowed and published, any one is at liberty to oppose the grant on the following grounds,-either that the invention was not patentable or novel, or that the specification is not sufficiently exact or complete, or that the invention does not lawfully belong to the applicant, but had been wrongfully obtained, to the injury of the opponents' rights. Both parties in such case are heard before the judicial section of the Patent Office. No costs are allowed, but the court fees are apportioned against the parties, at the discretion of the Patent Office.
Amendments.-Can be made at small cost before grant, and disclaimers of parts of an invention, or the entire renunciation of a patent, can be made at
Taxes.-An annual tax, rapidly increasing, has to be paid on such patent of invention on pain of forfeiture. A delay of thirty days is allowed, and, subject to a fine of £1, an additional thirty days' grace can be obtained.
Joint Inventors are tenants in common, and each can work the invention or sell his share independently of the other—all parties, however, have to join in
a license to a third party for such license to be valid.
Infringement. The law is very severe against infringements, and is easily and cheaply put in force. Persons apprehensive of an action for infringement can get a prior judgment from the Patent Office as to whether the article they are making is an infringement of any given patent.
Usual costs : Patent of Invention, £14.
6 Third year
4 15 Fourth year
5 5 Fifth year
4 Sixth year
7 2 Seventh year
8 Eighth year
25 Trade mark registration is covered by Austrian.
I 2 1 2
ICELAND AND DANISH POSSESSIONS.
(Including Burmah.) (Population, 234,000,000, not including Native
States. Mysore has a patent law of its own.) Grant and Duration. A patent is granted for fourteen years, but falls with the expiration or annulment of the British patent, or if there be no British patent, on the revocation or expiration of any patent obtained for the same invention in any other country. The Indian patent dates from the day of filing the complete specification. The priority and protection, however, dates from the time of application.
Who can Patent.—Any person, the actual discoverer or originator of a new and useful invention, or his executors, administrators, or assigns, can obtain a patent from British India.
Novelty.-- For a patent to be valid the invention must not have been publicly used in any part of British India, or of the United Kingdom, nor published in writing or print in either country before the date of application for the patent. The following, however, are not to be considered publications fatal to the validity of a patent :-· (1) Publication or use by third parties where the knowledge of the invention has been obtained surreptitiously, or by a breach of confidence, or in fraud of the inventor, and without his acquiescence, provided the inventor apply for the patent within six months of the commencement of such use or publication.
(2) The public use of the invention by the inventor, his servants, agents, or persons holding a written license from him, or the knowledge resulting from such use in public, provided such public use occurred only within a period of twelve months immediately preceding the application for a patent.
(3) The public use in Great Britain or India of an invention already patented or protected in the British Isles, provided the application for the Indian patent be made within twelve months of the actual sealing of the British patent, or of the application for that protection.
(4) The public exhibition of the invention in an international exhibition certified as such by the Governor-General, if the application for a patent in India be made within six months of the date of the admission of the exhibit into that exhibition.
Examination.—When an application for a patent is made, the case may be referred to an examiner or expert at the discretion of the officials, the fees allowed to such expert (when he is not in the Government employ) being required from the applicant in advance.
Great complaint has of late been made about the capricious manner in which patents have been rejected by these experts without appeal, or the inventor or his agent having the right of arguing the case ; cases of great merit allowed after an haustive search by the United States, Sweden, and Germany, and after a rigid scrutiny into their merits also in the latter country, having been rejected by these experts on the ground of possessing no patent: able novelty. The Government will sometimes, on very strong reasons being shown, revise the decision.
Rival Inventors.-If two applicants apply for a patent for the same invention, the first has the preference, but if both apply the same day, they are considered contemporaneous, and the GovernorGeneral can, at his discretion, grant patents to both or either. An application must give a fair description of the invention, and the complete specification must be filed within six months, or in special circumstances, and by the payment of an extra fee, within nine months of the application.
It must contain a complete statement of the invention, with claims, drawings where admissible, and a model, if the officials require it.
Owners of patents must give an official registered address in India, at which notices of proceedings can
be served. In the case of non-residents this is usually the address of his Patent Agents' Indian Representative.
Taxes.-A patent becomes void if an annual tax, payable at the end of the fourth and every subsequent year, be not duly paid.
If, however, payment be omitted through accident, mistake, or inadvertence, the Governor-General has power to allow the patent to be reinstated on payment of a stipulated increased fee, within the next ensuing three months.
Extension of Term.-A patent can be extended for a term of seven, or, in rare cases, fourteen years on application to the Governor-General in Council. This application must be made not less than six months before the patent would otherwise expire. In such cases, if the Governor sees fit, he can refer the matter for report to the High Court, before which the patentee and any opponents to the prolongation must appear. The former is required to give an account of his profits as in similar cases before the Privy Council in England. An extended patent, however, falls void if the annual fees be not paid, and may be subjected at grant to any conditions that the Governor-General in Council sees fit to impose.
Licenses and Assignments must be registered to be valid against third parties.
Amendments.--Where, through mistake or inadvertence, too much is claimed, or an error has been made in an application or specification, the matter can be set right by a disclaimer or memorandum of explanation. Except as regards suits pending at the time, the amended specification has the same effect as if it had been the specification first filed, unless the amendment be shown to have extended the invention claimed.