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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 exhaustive 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.
Nullification.-A patent or any part thereof can be declared null by the High Court at the suit of any interested party (the latter giving, if required, security for costs) if it be proved :
(1) That the invention or a specified part of it is not useful.
(2) That it was not new within the meaning of the Act at the date of application.
(3) That the applicant was not the true inventor, or his legal representative or assignee.
(4) That the applicant knowingly or fradulently included in his application something not new or not his invention, or a fraudulent misstatement.
(5) That the applicant has not sufficiently described the invention from fraudulent motives or to the injury of the public.
(6) As regards a part of the invention, that it is wholly distinct from the other parts, and of no utility.
A patent can be annulled if the Governor-General declare that the privilege or the mode in which it is exercised is mischievous to the State, or generally prejudicial to the public, or that the conditions upon which it was granted have not been fulfilled by the applicant.
In a suit for infringement, it is no defence that the specification contains anything old, useless, or fraudulent, or that the patentee is not the first inventor, unless the infringer proves that he himself is the actual inventor, or his licensee or assignee.
Nor is it any defence to prove that it is not new, unless the infringer proves that he himself, or some one through whom he claims, actually worked the invention in India or the British Isles, before the application for a patent in India or in the British Isles.
Compulsory Licenses.-The provisions of the compulsory license clause of the British Act are
enacted in India; the Governor-General in Council having the power in India possessed by the Board of Trade in England.
Average costs: Patent.
Taxes including agency before the end
Registering a trade mark
IRELAND AND THE ISLE OF MAN. These are covered by the British Patent.
Kinds and Duration of Patents.-Patents of invention are granted for any term up to fifteen years, and if for shorter term can be extended on paying renewal fee and proportional taxes. Patents of importation for an invention patented and known abroad, but not yet at work in the realm, are granted to expire with the prior foreign patent for the same invention having the longest term, but their maximum duration is fifteen years.
Certificates of addition, that is, patents for additions or improvements on the original invention, are granted as in France and Belgium, free of annual tax, but expiring with the original patent. During the first six months, none but the proprietor of the patent can apply for certificates of improvements on his patent; and during this period he can also enter disclaimers, or, as it is technically described, "obtain certificates of reduction."