A patent is a right granted to an inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling their invention for a specified period of time. The right to apply for a patent is governed by the law in most countries; this allows inventors to obtain legal protection of their ideas without having to disclose them in advance or seek prior permission. In India, the Patents Act was enacted in the year 1970 to protect the rights of inventors. Section 50 of the said Act prescribes the Rights of co-owners of patents.
Meaning and definition of Patent -
The word patent consists of two Latin words – patir and pendere, which together mean to put forth or extend. It is used to denote any form of protection conferred by law on an inventor, product, or process giving an exclusive right to its owner not to be interfered with in making, using, selling or offering for sale the thing patented (Indian Patent Act 1970).
According to Section 2(m) of the Patent Act 1970, “patent” means a patent for any invention granted under this Act.
Who is the Co-owner of Patents?
Co-owner which means a person who owns something jointly with another or others. In the case of Patents, a person gets patent rights jointly. Section 50 provides rights of co-owners of Patents...
Rights of co-owners of patents -
Section 50 of the Patent Act 1970 speaks about the Rights of co-owners of patents —
As per Section 50 (1) Where a patent is granted to two or more persons, each of those persons shall, unless an agreement to the contrary is in force, be entitled to an equal undivided share in the patent.
(2) Subject to the provisions contained in this section and in section 51, where two or more persons are registered as grantee or proprietor of a patent, then, unless an agreement to the contrary is in force, each of those persons shall be entitled, by himself or his agents, to the rights conferred by section 48 for his own benefit without accounting to the other person or persons.
(3) Subject to the provisions contained in this section and in section 51 and to any agreement for the time being in force, where two or more persons are registered as grantee or proprietor of a patent, then, a license under the patent shall not be granted and a share in the patent shall not be assigned by one of such persons except with the consent of the other person or persons.
(4) Where a patented article is sold by one of two or more persons registered as grantee or proprietor of a patent, the purchaser and any person claiming through him shall be entitled to deal with the article in the same manner as if the article had been sold by a sole patentee.
(5) Subject to the provisions contained in this section, the rules of law applicable to the ownership and devolution of movable property generally shall apply in relation to patents; and nothing contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall affect the mutual rights or obligations of trustees or of the legal representatives of a deceased person or their rights or obligations as such.
(6) Nothing in this section shall affect the rights of the assignees of a partial interest in a patent created before the commencement of this Act.
Rights of patentees
Rights of patentees of lapsed patents which have been restored
Rights of patent agents