India Patents Act 1970 and Patents Rules 2003

3 min readMay 4, 2024

The Indian Patents Act 1970 is the primary legislation governing patents in whole of India. It is an Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to patents. The Indian Patents Act plays a crucial role in promoting innovation and technological development in India by providing a framework for the protection and commercialisation of inventions.

Some key features of the Indian Patents Act 1970 include:

· Patentable Subject Matter: The Act defines what inventions are eligible for patent protection, including processes, products, and improvements thereof, provided they meet certain criteria such as novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.

· Patent Application Process: The Act sets out the procedure for filing patent applications in India, including the requirements for documentation, examination, and grant. It also outlines provisions for international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

· Patent Rights and Obligations: The Act delineates the rights conferred by a patent, such as the exclusive right to make, use, sell, or distribute the patented invention. It also outlines the limitations and obligations associated with patent rights, such as compulsory licensing provisions aimed at balancing the interests of patent holders and the public.

· Term and Renewal: Patents granted under the Indian Patents Act are typically valid for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the patent application, subject to payment of renewal fees.

· Amendments and Updates: The Indian Patents Act 1970 has been periodically amended to address evolving needs and international commitments. These amendments have included changes to patentability criteria, procedural requirements, and enforcement mechanisms.

Below is the history of the Indian Patents Act 1970:


The Indian Patents Rules 2003 supplement the Indian Patents Act 1970, providing detailed regulations and procedures for various aspects of patent law implementation in India. These rules are periodically updated to align with amendments to the Patents Act and to address practical aspects of patent filing, examination, opposition, and other related matters. Here are some key points regarding the Indian Patents Rules 2003 :

· Filing of Patent Applications: The rules provide detailed instructions and requirements for filing patent applications, including the format of documents, fees, and procedures for electronic filing.

· Examination Procedure: They outline the process for examination of patent applications by the Indian Patent Office (IPO), including the timelines for examination requests, responses to examination reports, and issuance of examination reports.

· Opposition and Hearing Procedures: The rules prescribe the procedures for pre-grant and post-grant oppositions to patent applications, as well as the conduct of hearings before the IPO in relation to such oppositions.

· Publication and Grant: They specify the requirements and procedures for the publication of patent applications, as well as the issuance of patents upon satisfaction of the patentability criteria and other requirements.

· Amendments and Corrections: The rules provide for the filing of amendments to patent applications during examination, as well as procedures for correction of clerical errors in granted patents.

· Fees and Payments: These rules detail the schedule of fees payable for various patent-related activities, including filing, examination, grant, and maintenance of patents.

· International Applications: The rules also address the filing and processing of international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) within the Indian patent system.

· Miscellaneous Provisions: They contain various other provisions relating to matters such as the appointment and powers of patent agents, maintenance of registers, and confidentiality of certain patent-related information.