Patent Laws in India & its History

Currently, the Patents Act, 1970 and the Patents Rules, 2003 (including amendments thereto) are in force.

The laws relating to Patents rights protection in India have evolved drastically during the last 160 years (initially enacted in 1856).

The below table would give an overall idea on the changes made over a period of time.


The act vi of 1856 on protection of inventions based on the British patent law of 1852. Certain exclusive privileges granted to inventors of new manufacturers for a period of 14 years.


The act modified as act xv; patent monopolies called exclusive privileges (making. Selling and using inventions in India and authorizing others to do so for 14 years from date of filing specification).


The Patents & Designs Protection Act.


The Protection Of Inventions Act.


Consolidated as the Inventions & Designs Act.


The Indian Patents & Designs Act.


The Patents Act (Act 39 of 1970) came into force on 20th April 1972.


On march 26, 1999 Patents (Amendment) Act, (1999) came into force from 01-01-1995.


The Patents (Amendment) Act 2002 came into force from 20th May 2003


The Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 effective from 1st January 2005

Patents Rules

Under the provisions of section 159 of the Patents Act, 1970 the Central Government is empowered to make rules for implementing the Act and regulating patent administration. Accordingly, the Patents Rules, 1972 were notified and brought into force w.e.f. 20.4.1972. 

These Rules were amended from time to time till 20 May 2003 when new Patents Rules, 2003 were brought into force by replacing the 1972 rules. 

These rules were further amended by the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2005 and the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2006. The last amendments are made effective from 5th May 2006.

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