Patents are the exclusive rights granted to the inventor to use, enjoy and sell his invention or improvement when it is novel, useful and non-obvious to the person skilled in the art. Here comes the question regarding the patent of ideas.
Whether ideas can be patented?
There is no express provision in the Patent Act, 1970 applicable to India stating whether ideas are patentable. Apart from India, U.S and Canada also provides for patenting ideas provided it is submitted to the patent office by a provisional application. Otherwise no one can claim that the idea first struck my mind.
How to patent an idea in India
If you have an idea which you think could be patented and if it has not reached the final stage then the first step to be followed is to search whether the idea has been already patented in the particular country. India this can be checked in the Government of India website, The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks. After ensuring that you idea is not yet patented you can register in the site as get new id. Thereafter submit you provisional patent application with the prescribed fees. The difference between the preamble for description of the provisional application and the preamble for description of the complete application is that the former states ‘the following specification describes the invention’ and the latter states that ‘the following specification particularly describes the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed’. There is a period of twelve months available for filing the complete application.
How to patent an idea in USA
In USA, the provisional patent application can be filed. Here the search whether the patent is already registered is to be ensured at the USPTO. After uploading the files as PDF along with the prescribed fees which is much less when compared with the complete application and can use the words ‘patent pending’ till a period of twelve months.
How to patent an idea in Canada
In Canada, the inquiry about the status of idea, whether it is patented or not could be obtained from the Canada patent database. The advantage of inquiring this is that they do not need to work on an invention for which patent has already been granted. The application should contain the document which describes the application. The cost depends upon the invention.
The patenting of ideas remains justifiable because what happens if you are working on an idea and you have not arrived at your invention and the another human mind is struck with the same idea. But remember nobody could claim patent for an idea in mind which is not expressed.