Patents are exclusive rights granted for an invention – a solution to a technical problem – which entitles the patent holder to prevent third parties from commercially exploiting (making, using, selling or importing) the invention. Inventions allow many businesses to be successful because they develop new or better processes or products that offer a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Like all intellectual property rights (IPR), patents are territorial in nature, which means that they are only valid where they have been successfully registered. A patent registered in Europe has no legal effect in India and can therefore not be enforced there. Consequently, any European small and medium-sized enterprise SME looking to do business in India, and wishing to protect its exclusive rights in its inventions on this market should make use of the Indian patent system. EU SMEs should note that the patent granting process may take between 4 to 6 years to be completed, from date of filing of the patent application to date of grant of the patent.