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Table of Contents   
SHORT COMMUNICATION  
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 646
Filed and granted Indian Patents in dentistry from 2005-2009: A critical analysis and review


1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, M S Ramaiah Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, India

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Date of Submission20-Aug-2011
Date of Decision26-Jun-2012
Date of Acceptance10-Sep-2013
Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2013
 

   Abstract 

Background: Patent policies have proved to be extremely important for several countries to develop. India has achieved its global status since 2005; a critical analysis of the patents at IPO will help us to identify the potential, available for patents with Indian Dental Fraternity.
Aim: The aim of this study is to critically analyze and review Indian Patents in the field of Dentistry from 2005-2009 for evaluation of status of Indian Patents in Dentistry.
Materials and Methods: A total of 110 patents were scrutinized from 2005-2009 available by IPO on www.patentoffice.nic.in. Following which a preliminary data were collected from individual patents and recorded in a record sheet.
Statistical Analysis: The data collected were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 software and were subjected to ANOVA test.
Results: All patents scrutinized were applied for dental materials (100%). Company applicants (70%) were the maximum followed by the individual applicants (27.2%). A total of 87.3% of patents had enrolled for International Application. Priority country had maximum favor with USA (39.2%) followed by Europe (36.1%). Single inventors (44.5%) were the maximum followed by two inventors (22.7%). Europe (37.3%) had the maximum first inventor, followed by United States of America (30%) and India (10.9%). Individual inventors were maximum in Europe (38.8%) followed by USA (20.4%) and India (16.3%).
Conclusion: Contribution from Indian Nationals as inventors for patents in the field of Dentistry is limited, thus reducing the pace of progress and development. Indian inventors in the field of Dentistry have to go a long way to compete with the fellow mates of developed countries like USA and Europe. Continuing Dental Education programs on Intellectual property rights should be conducted on regular basis especially for Dentist's involved in research.

Keywords: Analysis, dentistry, intellectual property rights, patents

How to cite this article:
Bijle MA, Patil S. Filed and granted Indian Patents in dentistry from 2005-2009: A critical analysis and review. Indian J Dent Res 2013;24:646

How to cite this URL:
Bijle MA, Patil S. Filed and granted Indian Patents in dentistry from 2005-2009: A critical analysis and review. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Dec 9];24:646. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2013/24/5/646/123425
Patent policies have proved to be extremely important for several countries to develop. In fact, the patent policy pursued in India enabled it to becoming a big International Player in the generic Drug Market. [1] Thus, patent system contributes to the development of the nation with motivation for the progress of science and technology through inventions.

Inventions must be new and useful. It is a fundamental principle of patent law that a patent monopoly is granted only for inventions which are new and useful, and which have industrial application. This is embodied in the definition of ''inventions.'' The question whether a particular invention is new and useful is often extremely difficult to decide as it depends upon the state of the prior art in the particular field which includes prior publication on the subject and prior user. [2]

An application for a patent must be by its true and first inventor or a person who has derived title from him. The right to apply for a patent is assignable. The invention claimed should be novel and must not be obvious to those who are skilled in the art to which it relates in India. The Patents Act, 1970 requires an applicant to furnish particulars of applications furnished by him in respect of the same invention in other countries and the objection taken to such applications, and the amendment affected to the specifications. This is meant to enable judicial scrutiny and review of the application. Publication abroad, prima facie, constitutes anticipation to deprive the invention of its novelty. One peculiar aspect of the patent law is that once a patent is granted to any person for a particular invention subsequently another person cannot acquire a patent grant for the same invention even if it has been invented independently. Patent law in India is regulated by the Patents Act, 1970 [3] (39 of 1970) and the Patents Rules, 1972. The Parliament of India has ratified drastic changes to the Patents Act, 1970. These changes have become effective from the 1 st day of January, 1995. The changes are in line with the commitments made by India before the World Trade Organization (WTO). India is committed to harmonize its intellectual property laws with the members of the WTO. The WTO agreement enables a signatory to avail of a transition period of 10 years to implement its commitments. India has availed off the full transition period of 10 years up to 2005 for formulating and amending its Patent Laws. With effect from the 1 st of April 2005, the Indian Patent Act is in sync with WTO mandates and India is compliant with WTO in relation to patenting of inventions in India. [2] Hence, this implies that India achieved its global status since 2005.

Chapter II of the Indian Patent Act [3] lays down a list of inventions that are not patentable. All inventions or discoveries listed under Section 3 of Chapter II are not inventions within the meaning of the Patent Act and are therefore not patentable. Section 3(i) states that any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic or other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals or plants to render them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products is not patentable. [4]

This provision rules out the patentability of methods used for treatment of human beings, animals, and plants. In order to fall outside the scope of patentability the method should be for Medicinal, surgical, prophylactic, curative, or other treatment. By including the words "or other treatment" after prophylactic, this clause has been given a wide scope which means that any method for any sort of treatment shall be considered to be non-patentable under the Indian Law. Thus, India has a very strong exclusion clause for medical methods. Since Dentistry is a part of Medicine, thus any Dental Procedure would also be excluded under the criteria of patentability. But, there are a few countries that do consider medical/dental procedures to be patentable viz., Australia and United States of America. [5]

Even today there are only few patents available in India where Dentistry comes into play. Dental Materials and technology are patentable, even though few patents applications and approval are into credit for Dentistry when compared to other nations. [6],[7]

Since India has achieved its global status since 2005, a critical analysis of the patents at IPO will help us to identify the potential, available for patents with Indian Dental Fraternity.

Hence, this paper gives us the clear comparative analysis of the Dental patents available from 2005 to 2009 at IPO.


   Aim Top


The aim of this study is to critically analyze and review Indian Patents in the field of Dentistry from 2005 to 2009 for evaluation of status of Indian Patents in Dentistry.

Objectives

The following are the objectives of this study

  • To critically analyze Indian Patents in the field of Dentistry from 2005 to 2009
  • To review Indian Patents in the field of Dentistry from 2005 to 2009
  • To determine progress and development in India for Dentistry after 2005, i.e., when India achieved its Global status in field of patents
  • To Determine contribution from Indian inventors for the progress and development of Dentistry in India
  • To establish a co-relation amongst various patents in Dentistry at IPO from 2005 to 2009.



   Materials and Methods Top


Total numbers of the patents scrutinized were 110 from IPO website. These were selected as per the advanced search criteria by IPO on www.patentoffice.nic.in. In the Field section "Title" was entered as "Dental" in the Enter Text section. The inclusion criteria were all the patents granted by IPO for the term 2005-2009.

There were total of 139 patents in this section of which 110 patents satisfied our criteria, i.e., 2005-2009. Following which a preliminary data were collected from individual patents and recorded in a record sheet. The record sheet was prepared using Microsoft Office Word 2007 Software. The data collected were later transferred to Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Software for further analysis.

Record sheet comprised the following data requirements viz;

  • Date of filing an application of patent
  • Date of publication
  • Priority Date (if Available)
  • Whether International Application is done?
  • If done, what is the International Application Date?
  • Who is the applicant? Whether Individual/Company/University
  • What is the patent meant for: Dental Material/Dental Procedure?
  • Name of the priority country
  • The number of inventors involved in patent application
  • Country of first Inventor.


The data collected and entered in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 software were subjected to statistical analysis through SPSS 16.0 software. The statistical tests applied were standard measures of dispersion and ANOVAs (one way type).


   Results Top


All patents have been registered for Dental Materials [Table 1]. Company applicants (70%) were the maximum followed by individual applicants (27.3%) and then University/Institutional Applicants (2.7%) [Table 2] and [Figure 1]. On an average, an Individual Applicant published his invention at 13.2 months, whereas University/Institution published their invention at 11.3 months and Companies were the earliest to publish at 10.4 months after patent application/priority date [Table 3].
Figure 1: Distribution of type of applicants for patent in dentistry

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Table 1: Distribution of patent type


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Table 2: Distribution of type of applicants for patent in dentistry


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Table 3: Time difference in application and publication by the applicants


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Of 110 applicants, 96 (87.3%) of patents had enrolled for International Application whereas the rest had not applied [Table 4] and [Figure 2]. On an average, an Individual Applicant had time difference in International Application and priority date as 18.6 months, whereas Company was at 21.1 months and University/Institution was at 18.8 months [Table 5]. Thus, there is a significant difference between a Company applicant and Individual and University applicant for International application and no significant difference in Individual and University applicant is observed. Single Inventor Applicants for patents reported the maximum (44.5%) [Table 6]. Since the priority date and Priority Country and International Application dates for all the samples were not available, as 96 samples of 110 had filed International application. Priority Country demand called the maximum for United States of America (39.2%) followed by Europe (36.1%). The least was in the favor of Japan (1%), and New Zealand (1%), whereas China (0%) and India (0%) did not attain any contribution [Table 7] and [Figure 3]. Apart from United States of America (39.2%) and Europe (36.1%), other countries showed a significant difference as far as Country Priority is concerned. On an average, an Individual Applicant had time difference in Application Date and International Patent application dates as 29.4 months, whereas Company was at 31.0 months and University/Institution was at 30.9 months. There is no significant difference in all applicants [Table 8].
Figure 2: Proportion of Patents applied at International level

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Figure 3: Distribution of priority country

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Table 4: Proportion of patents applied at international level


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Table 5: Time difference in international application and patent application dates


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Table 6: Distribution of number of inventors


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Table 7: Distribution of priority country


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Table 8: Time difference in priority and international application dates


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Europe (37.3%) had the maximum First Inventor, followed by United States of America (30%) and India (10.9%). New Zealand (0) did not have any First Inventor and Least First Inventors were from Japan (1%) and China (1%).

Individual Inventors were maximum in Europe (38.8%) followed by USA (20.4%) and India (16.3%) [Table 9] and [Figure 4]. Two Inventors were maximum in Europe (36%) followed by USA (32%) and UK (16%). Three Inventors were maximum in USA (46.7%), followed by Europe (40%) and UK (6.7%) and other Countries (6.7%). More than three Inventors were maximum in USA (38.1%), followed by Europe (33.3%) and India (14.3%) [Table 10].
Figure 4: Distribution of country of first inventor

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Table 9: Distribution of country of first inventor


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Table 10: Association between country of first inventor and number of inventors


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Thus, majority of applications for patents were from Company (70.0%). Overall, average time lag between application and the publication is approximately 11 months. Significantly minimum average time lag was seen for company applicant compared to Individual and University applicants (P = 0.038). Overall 44.5% patents had only one inventor. Significantly higher proportion of patents had USA as a priority country for International Application. Highest proportion of patents had Europe as first inventor country followed by USA. Significantly higher proportion of patents from Europe had only one inventor (P = 0.044). Overall, the average difference between the priority date and the International application date was 30.7 months.


   Discussion Top


Since majority of applications of patents were from Company (70%) as compared to applications by Individual and Institutional/University, it becomes obvious that maximum original research with respect to inventions in the field of Dentistry is being carried out in Companies. It is quite possible since companies generally have huge amount of resources available with them which they utilize for research and development, which in turn helps them to commercialize their products and attain maximum benefits.

Individual Inventors were the maximum around (44.5%),since invention being a novel approach the contribution is in high proportion from individuals than group.

Maximum number of the patents applied at IPO had first inventors as Europeans being (37.3%) and Indian inventors (10.9%) were third in the list; which implies that Indian inventors in the field of Dentistry are still less competitive than Europeans and Americans. The probable reason for this may be promotion of research and development by the nation as well as the knowledge and excellence required for patent application. India is still a developing nation whereas Europe and America are developed nations may be one of the reasons for the above mentioned statement.

Maximum numbers of the patents applied at IPO were from countries other than India which was around 90% implying maximum proportion as compared to that of 1/10 th favoring India. This implies that foreign countries have more patent application in India as far as Dentistry is concerned.

Not much research is done on these lines; hence comparison of results cited becomes difficult with other published research articles.


   Conclusion Top


Indian Inventors in the field of Dentistry have to go a long way to compete with the fellow mates of Developed Countries like USA and Europe. Indian Inventors must also take into consideration the filing of Patent at International level. Contribution of Indian Inventors in Dentistry at IPO is very less as compared to the other country Inventors which needs to be worked on seriously.

Thus, contribution from Indian Nationals as Inventors for patents in the field of Dentistry is limited, thus reducing the pace of progress and development. Progress and development in the field of Dentistry is considered to be average as per the above seen results since not much patents can be seen as compared to other fields in India.

Continuing Dental Education programs on Intellectual property rights should be conducted on regular basis especially for Dentist's involved in research.

More research is required on this field to identify and summarize the patents applied at IPO in the field of Dentistry.

 
   References Top

1.Sridhar M. NALSAR Pro: Book of Patenting in India: Importance of Patent Policy; 2009. p. 5.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Available from: http://www.keralawyer.com/murtiPers/sub.asp?pageval=ajfjfgyh6g87hkgandpageID=8andgrpID=UYRghkg8585 [Last accessed on 2010 Jan 05].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Chapter II of the Indian Patent Act, 1970. Available from: http://ipindia.nic.in/ipr/patent/patact1970-3-99.html#chap2 [Last accessed on 2010 Jan 05].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Section 3 clause (i), Chapter II of the Indian Patent Act, 1970. Available from: http://ipindia.nic.in/ipr/patent/patact1970-3-99.html#chap2 [Last accessed on 2010 Jan 05].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Kalyan C. Kankanala. Patent protection for medical methods: Ethics Vs. Patent incentives.Available from: http://www.brainleague.com/case_studies/patentethics.pdf [Last accessed on 2010 Jan 05].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Available from: https://www.ipindiaonline.gov.in/patentpublishedSearch/patentwebSearch.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 [Last accessed on 2010 Jan 05].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Available from: http://www.patentstorm.us/search.html?q=dental [Last accessed on 2010 Jan 06].  Back to cited text no. 7
    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Mohammed Nadeem Ahmed Bijle
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.123425

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