History of Patents:
Patents have been granted by Governments from the medieval ages. Galileo was granted a patent for an irrigation device in 1594. The British system is credited to be oldest system of granting patent that is still in operation. The first recorded patent was granted in 1617. These days, most countries operate patent system in which the applicant is given monopoly right to prevent others from using the invention for a limited period in return for disclosing the nature of invention in sufficient detail for it to contribute to the stock of public knowledge. In India the period of special use, ruled by the Patent Act 1970 and Patent Rules 1972, is 14 years. In UK it is 20 years.
A patent document consists of patent number, that is, the serial number assigned to it; date of issue or priority date; date of application; title of invention; name of the patentee; classification number as per national patent office scheme or detailed technical information both in literary and graphic forms.
Patents are grouped under:
i) Conventional Patents
ii) Patents of Addition: Further improvement or modification
iii) Secret Patents: Patents relating to defense instruments and ammunitions.
iv) Priority Patents for instance Patents granted under a reciprocal priority arrangement established between India and a few Commonwealth countries.