Scope of Section 3(h) of the Patents Act, 1970 - An analysis
Section 3(h) of the Patents Act, 1970 mandates “a method of agriculture or horticulture” as non-patentable subject matter. The understanding of the scope of this Section has led to inconsistencies associated with IPO decisions and the lack of clarity has affected the agrochemical sector, in particular. According to the article, in this issue of IPR Amicus, though there is indication of the intent of the IPO to permit agrochemical manufacturers to exercise their right, the interpretation is in contradiction to the inclusion of a particular method, as stated in the Manual of Patent Office Practice in the list of non-patentable inventions. Considering various other diverse practices being followed, the author is of the view that a clear directive from the IPO or a definitive interpretation of the scope of Section 3(h) by a judicial forum would be beneficial.
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