A Patent is defined as a legal document granted by the government giving an inventor the exclusive right to make, use and sell an invention for a specified number of years. The endeavour of the patent system is to encourage inventors to advance the state of technology by awarding them special rights to benefit from their inventions. Patent Law has also been extended to cover Computer programs and various living organisms, such as specialized mice used in cancer research. A recent trend in the field of Patent Law is the extension of patentability to new ways of doing business for example; the method of conducting an auction on the Internet is patented. With respect to books, movies, and works of art the law of copyright is applicable. (Schechter, Roger E).1
First, it must be novel in the sense that the invention did not have prior existence. This will be determined by the patent examiners who will make all efforts to determine the nature of the invention and if they find that the proposed invention had already been described in previous patents or written about in scientific magazines, then they will declare that the invention has been "anticipated." Whenever it is concluded that such an eventuality has transpired then in such cases, the patent will be denied. The following case law illustrates this point:
PROCEEDINGS OF THE PATENT OFFICE U.K.
Application under section 72 for revocation of patent number GB 2371653
HEARING OFFICER D J Barford.
BL O/045/05 1 March 2005
M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd Claimant
Trek Technology (Singapore) Pte Ltd Defendant.
The patent in suit number GB 2371653 ("the patent") was granted on 6 August 2003
to Trek Technology (Singapore) Pte Ltd ("Trek") under the title "A portable data
The facts in this case are that, the claimant's grounds as set out in its statement filed
on15 December 2003 are that the invention lacks novelty or inventive step, that the
specification does not disclose the invention clearly enough and completely enough for it
to be performed by a person skilled in the art, and that the matter disclosed in the
specification of the patent extends beyond that disclosed in the application for the patent
as filed. The defendant denied the allegations of the claimant. Proceedings were
conducted which, were favourable to the claimant.
The above case illustrates the importance of novelty without which, a patent though granted will be revoked. The patent law is very strict and stringent in this regard.
Secondly, the invention must not be obvious, which implies that the invention must be a significant improvement over the existing technology. Rudimentary changes to previously known devices do not qualify an invention for a patentable invention. The relevant case law in this regard is as follows:
PROCEEDINGS OF THE