However, it is essential to note that it can only use these exclusive rights granted to patentees for a limited period of time. This period during which patent holders can exploit and use their patents exclusively is called the term of a patent. There was a time when different standards were prevalent for product patents and process patents. While product patents used to be given longer protection of fourteen years, process patents used to be restricted to only five years of protection. However, in 2003, the term granted to product and process patents was the same.
Renewal of Patents:
It is important to note that renewals of patents in India have to be carried out each year or at a single go, whichever a patentee prefers. Such renewal ensures the validity of the patent during the term of protection that it has. Patent renewals are carried out by paying an annual renewal fee or a one-time lumpsum renewal fee. However, unlike for other intellectual property types such as trademarks, patent renewals in India cannot be extended beyond the initial specific term of patent protection. That is, when the 20-year term of protection granted to a patent expires, the patent becomes available for exploitation by the public, and its details become a matter of public knowledge.
Restoration of Patents:
When patentees fail to pay the renewal fees, their patent registration lapses. In such cases, patentees are granted a six-month extension to pay a certain amount of penalty and have their patent renewed. Non-renewal can lead to the consequence of patented information becoming public domain knowledge. However, restoration is a process wherein the patentee can have his rights restored by applying to the Indian Patent office and suitable justifications for the delay.