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Essential Elements of Patentability

Usually whenever an inventor discusses his invention with patent attorney, the most important elements looked up or analyzed by attorney for determining patentability involves

1. Novelty

2. Inventive step or non-obviousness

3. Capable of industrial application or utility

Along with the above parameters the invention should also be falling under the patentable subject matter and should not form a part of “Invention which are not patentable”

1. Novelty

Novelty (etymologically means either novice/new) is the quality of being new and hence it should not form part of state of art or prior art. It means that the invention should not be anticipated/disclosed in any publication, prior claimed in any invention, used anywhere in the world before the date of filling or the date of priority.

The state of art comprises all matter (published document, prior claims, and use of invention in certain part of world) available to the public before the date of priority. And during evaluation of anticipation by publication, the degree of dissemination is not taken into concern so a single published document or its distribution to a single personnel constitute part of state of art/ prior art.

The test for anticipation from prior art documents is a litmus test for determination of novelty and is also a rigorous one, which involve that prior art document must be entirely contained in a single document & hence cumulative effect of all prior art references available at the date of priority is not allowed.

2. Inventive step or non- obviousness

Once novelty is confirmed, an invention is evaluated for non-obviousness, which involves that the inventive step of an invention should not be obvious to a person skilled in the art, wherein skilled person is an ordinary practitioner aware of common general knowledge in art and has access to everything in state of art.

Inventive step have been dealt in detail in section 2 (1)(ja) of Indian patent act, which set forth that in order to prove inventive step either the invention should be having technical advancement as compared to the existing knowledge available or it should have economic significance as compared to the prior art available.

So an invention is said to be obvious if the prior art provides motivation for invention and by combining the teachings of different prior art available on the date of priority it would lead to the formation of inventive step in claimed invention which is obvious to the person skilled in the art.

Obviousness is a significant hurdle and is highly fact based and the patent office employs numerous indicators in order to access inventive step which comprises of:

1. Complexity of work normally not carried out by research personnel.

2. Invention claim to satisfy a long felt need in the industry.

3. Failure of others to find a solution to the problem in hand.

4. Cheaper & more economical product.

3. Capable of Industrial application or utility

Capable of Industrial application is a common notation for European & Indian patent law, whereas utility is normally considered by patent examiner of USA. Industrial applicability means that the invention is capable of being made or used in an industry, where industry is something which involves any useful or practical activity as distinct from intellectual or aesthetic activity.

On the other hand for determining credibility of a utility patent, application must express a specific, credible and substantial utility.

And in considering the requirement of utility for patents, there are three main factors to review:

1. Operability of the invention;

2. Beneficial use of the invention;

3. Practical use of the invention;

These elements for patentability are essentially the same across all major patent law unions, convention countries and form an important component in determining the fate of an invention during prosecution.

Source by Pulkit Vij

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