Can we Patent a food item in India? – Everything you need to know
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The most obvious question is whether food patents are possible. The answer is yes, you can patent a food recipe or an item if it is unique. However, there are a few things that the patentee should keep in mind before applying for a patent on his or her food recipes. The food recipe patent application must be carefully drafted. Here in this article there will be detailed information on the food item patented in India, requirements that need to be satisfied for registering a patentable food item, and the most patentable food categories in India is mentioned.
But first, let’s look at the food item that was patented in India. Let’s take a quick look at the Indian Patent Law.
Overview of an Indian Patent Law
A patent can only be issued for a new and beneficial invention, according to Indian Patent Law. The invention must be related to the substance, object, or machine of a manufacturer, or the manufacturing process for an article. A patent can also be obtained to protect the development of a new product or manufacturing process.
In the case of medicine or drugs, as well as certain chemical groups, no patent is issued for the substance itself, even if it is novel; however, both the manufacturing process and the substance are patentable. The first inventor or the person who has acquired title from him must file a genuine patent application, and the right to file a patent application must be assignable.
A utility patent applicant must show that their innovation is useful. The invention must be functional and have a practical application. A machine that does not function as intended is not considered useful, and thus is not granted a Patent. A utility Patent can only be granted for a machine, a composition of matter, a process, or an improvement to one of these.
Patents are valid for 20 years from the date of filing, with an annual renewal fee. Indian Patent Law is governed by the ‘first to file’ concept, which means that if two people apply for a Patent on the same invention, the first to file will be granted the Patent.
Useful insights on a Food Item Patented in India
It might not seem like the idea of patents applies to food products. However, a lot of organizations do patent food items. Additionally, ICAR and CSIR are well-known organizations in India that have patented intellectual property in the field of food sciences.
However, there is one minor proviso that should be mentioned. Recipe books can be the subject of a food recipe patent. It would also fall under the category of literary works. A patent of this type would grant the author sole ownership of the published work. Furthermore, rather than simply prohibiting others from publishing the recipe, this patent would prevent others from copying it.
3 basic requirements must be met in order to patent a food item in India
- Novelty – The recipe should have an element of ‘newness,’ rather than simply being an extension of an older method.
- Industrial application – In the case of food, this criterion implies that the recipe should be industrially useful for either humans or animals.
- Non-obviousness – A recipe cannot be patented simply by combining raw food ingredients that produce an obvious result.
Primary factors to Consider When Applying for a Food Recipe Patent in India
The Indian Patent Office states:
- An inventive step is required for an invention.
- It should not be published in India or any other country.
- In India, it should not be claimed in any specification.
The inventive step is an important consideration for people who want to patent a food recipe. Similarly, the Indian Patent Office defines an inventive step as one that “does not make the invention obvious to a person skilled in the art.”
A food recipe applicant must also ensure that it does not violate Section 3(e) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970. Section 3(e) mentioned that a product or process that simply combines ingredients to produce a clear result cannot be patented.
Different ways to Patent a Food item in India
Many existing foods contain well-known ingredients. Finding different ingredients to replace the established ones is a clever way to obtain a patent. These food combinations should emphasize healthy eating or other similar advantages. The goal is to create a new matter composition that is more desirable than comparable foods and recipes.
New foods in special diets: Vegan and gluten-free diets have become commonplace. Many restaurants provide meals to meet these requirements. An inventor who discovers a new method of producing these foods has a strong patent claim. For example, Vegetarian do not consume eggs. Because many recipes call for eggs, the inventor of a viable substitute maybe granted a patent. The new matter composition must be innovative while also meeting the needs of people on special diets.
Brewing recipes and ingredients need to be developed
In recent years, the number of microbreweries has increased dramatically. Science is used in the development of new flavors in craft beers. Any creator of a flavorful beer should patent it. Beverages are precious in the marketplace. You should meticulously record the brewing process. It is difficult to explain the application’s steps. You must meet the requirements for novelty and non-obviousness.
Information on obtaining a Patent for a Food Product
The Indian Patent Office recommends that applicants apply for a patent in the office closest to their home. Documents can be filed online, by mail, or in person.
After an applicant submits an application, the information is published 18 months later. Others are given the opportunity to object to such a publication. Following that, an examination is conducted, which results in either the grant or refusal of a patent. If someone objects to the grant of a patent, the Controller makes a decision.
Food items can be patented, but they must have a distinctive feature that sets them apart from other recipes, such as a different method of baking or the inclusion of a medicinal composition in the recipe. It can be patented in this manner, and it is not required that the cooking method be different; patents could also be based on appearance, shelf life, texture, flavor, or any other key feature that distinguishes your recipe.
Wish to have an exclusive right over an invention? Apply for patent before someone else does.
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