Patent is an exclusive right granted to inventor or discoverer to make, sell or use his invention or discovery for a specified period of time. It is also available for significant improvements on previously invented articles. Its characteristic lies in the power of excluding others even if the patentee does not desire to use the patent himself. The owner of a patent has the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale or selling his or her invention for a period of 20 years from the filing of the patent application.
The Indian Patent Act 1970 resembles British Patents Act 1949. The patent act of 1970 in its original form have distinction between product patents and process patents, the exception given in section 5 of the act of 1970 offered only a process patent for food, medicine or drug substances and specifically excluded product patents for the same.
Signing of Trade Related Intellectual Property Subjects (TRIPS) is considered to be a milestone towards development of intellectual property rights.