Proof of Progress: The Role of the Inventive Step/Non-Obviousness Standard in the Indian Patent Office Academic Article uri icon


  • Though much has been written about the recent developments in Indian patent law, scholarship has not looked beyond the famed 3(d) and compulsory licensing. This chapter introduces a new protagonist in Indian patent law: the new standard of nonobviousness. The authors argue that the heightened standard operates as a more objective tool to measure the inherently subjective concept of nonobviousness. By requiring patent applicants to demonstrate technical advancement, the law mandates them to show technical superiority over the prior art, which the authors refer to as the proof of progress requirement. The new standard is explained and compared with the nonobviousness standard in the United States. Uniquely focusing on the grant opinions of the patent office involving pharmaceutical patent applications, the authors show how the new standard operates in practice.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ali, F., & Ragavan, S.

complete list of authors

  • Ali, Feroz||Ragavan, Srividhya

publication date

  • February 2015