Sunday, September 3, 2017
You have put in years of hard work and huge amounts of money in your invention, but what happens if somebody recreates it through a different method and calls it his own? That’s where patents come into play. Patents are exclusive rights which are granted to the true and first inventor of a product or process, to the exclusion of others, for a fixed period of time. Patentee can sell, assign or license these rights to others.
In our previous blog, we have dealt with the whole procedure of patent registration in India. But who does all this for an inventor? First there should be a clarification about the difference between a “patent attorney” and a “patent agent”.
A patent agent is a person who does patent prosecution i.e. patent drafting, filing and registration, for the inventor. He should have a degree in science, technology or engineering and must have qualified the Patent agent examination in India. He need not be a qualified lawyer. A patent agent is entitled to:
· Practice before the Controller; and
· Prepare all documents, transact all business and discharge such other functions as may be prescribed in connection with any proceeding before the Controller under the Patent Act, 1970.
On the other hand, a patent attorney deals with litigation aspects of a patent like infringement and filing an opposition. A patent attorney holds a degree in law and he may or may not have a technical background. He practices before a court of law and deals with the litigation part of patents.
Nowadays, many patent attorneys are registered patent agents as well to provide the full range of services from patent prosecution – prior art search, filing of patent application, publication, examination and registration of patent – to litigation in case of infringement and filing of opposition.