The Benefits of Patent Addition Law: What You Need to Know
In today’s newsletter, we will be discussing an important aspect of the Patents of Addition. As you may already know, patents are crucial for protecting an inventor’s intellectual property and ensuring that they receive the recognition and monetary benefits they deserve. In this context, Patents of Addition offer a unique way for inventors to extend their existing patents.
In many cases, an invention may undergo improvements or modifications after its initial creation, either as part of a natural process of refinement or in response to feedback from the market or industry. In situations where the original invention is already protected by a patent, these improvements or modifications can be safeguarded by a “patent of addition” in India.
There are three types of patent applications that can be filed in most jurisdictions, including India: Ordinary, conventional and PCT route
What exactly are Patents of Addition?
The Patent Act, 1970 contains specific provisions governing Patents of Addition in India, namely Sections 54, 55, and 56. A Patent of Addition is an application made for a patent that pertains to an improvement or modification of an existing invention, for which the patentee has already applied for or obtained a patent. It is important to note that the applicant for the main invention and the improvement/modification must be the same, and if the improvement/modification involves a different applicant, a Patent of Addition may not be pursued.
A Patent of Addition can be filed on the same date or a later date than the main application, even after the grant of the main application. If the improvement or modification is the subject of an independent patent, and the patentee is the same for both inventions, the patentee can request the Controller to revoke the independent patent and grant it as a Patent of Addition.
The priority date for Patents of Addition is not subject to special rules and defaults to the date of filing of the Patent of Addition, subject to other provisions in the Act.
Furthermore, if an improvement or modification over the main application is the subject of a separate patent, and the same patentee is the owner of both patents, they may request the Controller to revoke the independent patent and grant it as a Patent of Addition.
It is important to note that there are no specific rules regarding the priority date of Patents of Addition. Therefore, the default rule will apply, and the priority date will be the date of filing of the Patent of Addition, subject to other provisions in the Patent Act, 1970.
According to Section 55 of the Patent Act, 1970, the term of a Patent of Addition shall be the same as that of the main application and will remain valid for as long as the main application is in force, expiring at the same time as the main application. However, there is no need to pay a separate renewal fee for a Patent of Addition.
In the event that the main application is revoked, the patentee may request that the Patent of Addition be granted as an independent patent for the remaining term, and it will continue to be in force as an independent patent.