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PIB Summaries 22 November 2023

  1. Indian Patent Office Achieves Record: 41,010 Patents Granted by November 2023
  2. Project Collaboration Agreement


Context:

Recently, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) has granted the highest number of 41,010 patents till November 2023.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding Patents: Legal Framework and Criteria
  2. Evolution of the Patents Act in India

Understanding Patents: Legal Framework and Criteria

Definition of Patent

  • A statutory right granted for a limited time in exchange for full disclosure of an invention.
  • Enables the patentee to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the patented product or process without consent.

Legal Framework in India

  • Governed by the Patents Act, 1970, amended in 2005, and the Patents Rules, 2003.
  • Regularly amended, with the most recent being the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021.

Term of a Patent

  • The term is 20 years from the filing date.
  • For PCT applications, the term is 20 years from the international filing date.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

  • An international treaty with 150+ Contracting States.
  • Allows seeking patent protection simultaneously in multiple countries through an international patent application.
  • Can be filed with the national patent office or the International Bureau of WIPO in Geneva.

Criteria of Patentability

  • Novelty, inventive steps, and industrial applicability are essential.
  • Must not violate provisions of sections 3 and 4 of the Patents Act, 1970.

Scope of Patent Protection

  • Territorial right effective only within India.
  • No global patent concept.
  • Filing in India enables corresponding applications in convention countries or under PCT within twelve months from the filing date in India.

Evolution of the Patents Act in India

Introduction of Patents Act, 1970

  • Enacted in 1972, serving as the primary law for the patenting system in India.
  • Replaced the Indian Patents and Designs Act of 1911.

Key Amendments in 2005

  • Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 brought significant changes.
  • Product patent extended to all fields of technology, including food, drugs, chemicals, and microorganisms.
Notable Changes Post-Amendment
  • Extension of Product Patent:
    • Product patent expanded to encompass various technological domains.
  • Repeal of Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs):
    • Provisions related to Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) repealed.
  • Introduction of Compulsory License Provision:
    • Provision enabling the grant of compulsory licenses introduced.
  • Incorporation of Opposition Mechanisms:
    • Provisions for pre-grant and post-grant opposition introduced.
Impact of Amendments
  • Broader scope for patenting across diverse technological sectors.
  • Streamlining patent-related processes with the introduction of opposition mechanisms.
  • Evolution towards a more comprehensive and contemporary patenting framework in India.


Context:

Recently, the Ministry of Ayush and the World Health Organization (WHO) formalized a Project Collaboration Agreement.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Project Collaboration Agreement Overview

Objective and Context
  • Bridging Medical Systems:
    • Aims to bridge Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems with the mainstream National Health System.
    • Aligns with the Traditional Medicine Global Strategy 2025-34, a WHO initiative supported by the Ministry of Ayush.
Project Goals
  • Standardization of Practices:
    • Objective is to standardize Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems.
    • Focus on incorporating quality and safety aspects into the National Health System.
  • International Dissemination:
    • Seeks to disseminate standardized practices on an international scale.
  • Integration into National Health Framework:
    • Crucial role in elevating Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems within the national health framework.
Focus on Siddha and Training Strengthening

Training and Practice Enhancement:

  • Major goal is to strengthen training and practice in the field of the Complementary Medicine System, specifically ‘Siddha.’
Formulation of Guidelines and Safety Protocols
  • Guidelines Development:
    • Formulation of guidelines for the listing of Traditional and Complementary Medicines.
  • Safety Protocols:
    • Emphasis on safety protocols for the practice and use of these medical systems.
International Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Herbal Focus:

  • Development of an International Herbal Pharmacopoeia focusing on herbs found in South-East Asia.
Past Collaborations and Continuity
  • Marks the third collaboration between the Ministry of Ayush and the WHO.
  • Previous agreements in 2016 and 2017 focused on globalizing Traditional Medical systems and strengthening Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha medical systems.

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