‘Invention’ Under The Patent Act ,1970 BY Aniket Tiwari


An  invention is not the same thing as a ‘discovery’ . One can discover that a known machine can produce better result ,but such result is not patentable invention. For a patentable invention ,one has todo something more and must make some addition ,not only to knowledge but to previously known invention , and must use his knowledge and ingenuity so as to produce a new and useful thing or result .

BIshwanath Parsad Radhey Shyam  v. Hindustan Metal Industries

In this case SC stated that ,Invention also includes improvement on invention .To be patentable invention ,the improvement or condition must produce a new result or anew article or a better or cheaper article .

Definition Of Invention Under The Patents Act ,1970

Section 2(1) (j) of The Patent Act ,1970 defines invention as under,                                                                                   “invention means a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application.”

In the case of Hindustan Lever Ltd.  v. Godrej Sopans Ltd. [1997 PTC 756 Cal.]

The apex court stated that ,a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application ,is an invention .

‘Invention’ means any new and useful –

(a) art, process ,method or manner of manufacture ,

(b) machine, apparatus or other article ,

(c) substance produced by manufacture,

An alleged invention is something which alleged as a manner of new manufacture ,however ,in fact ,it may not be a new manufacture .But to be a new patentable invention ,it must be satisfy the order requirement of the definition of invention under section 2(1) (j).

‘Invention’ connotes a useful product or process , with an inventive step and of industrial application.

  What are not invention .-

Section 3 to 5 of The Patent  Act ,1970 provides for what are not ‘invention’ under The Patent Act . Section 3 envisages that following are not invention –

(1) Frivolous invention .-

An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to well -established natural laws.

 (2)User of invention if unlawful,-

An invention ,the primary or intended use of which would be contrary to law or morality or injurious to public health.

(3) Principle devoid of method .-

The mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory is no invention .[or discovery of any living thing or living substance occurring in nature]

(4) Mere discovery of a known contrivance .-

Mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or of the mere use of a known process ,machine or apparatus unless such process results in a view product is no invention .

(5) Mere admixture .-

A substance obtained by mere admixture resulting only in the aggregation of the properties of the components thereof or a process for producing such substances is no invention

 The section 3 of this Act envisage more things that are not invention. such as

Mere arrangement or Re-arrangement .-

Agricultural method, etc.

Medicinal process , etc .

Plants and animals.

Mathematical/business method or computer program

Literary works , etc.

Mere scheme or method


Invention relating to atomic energy.

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