From Sci-Fi to Reality: Patents for Futuristic Technologies


We all have those once-in-a-lifetime moments when our imaginations dive deep into the realm of science fiction. Picture this our favorite superheroes, effortlessly conjuring snow, fire, threads, or water from their hands, bravely protecting the world. It’s not just fantasy we’ve all indulged in these daydreams at some point, wondering how thrilling life could be if these marvels were real. Remember the craze a few years back with the Krrish movie? Kids everywhere dressed Krrish masks, having the fantasy for his superpowers. This sci-fi is not about kids or youngsters but it covers every age group.

Now, imagine someone inventing a mechanical hand capable of spraying water perfectly for firefighting. How amazing would it be to put on this device and become a real-life hero? Just like every superhero has exclusive rights to their powers, the inventor of this mechanical marvel can claim exclusive rights to their creation. And how do they get this right? Off course the answer is through a “PATENT”.

Sci-Fi and innovation:

Science fiction and innovation are like partners in an exciting dance, each inspiring the other to reach new heights. Sci-fi, with its limitless imagination, tells stories of future worlds filled with advanced technologies and big changes in society. These exciting tales spark the curiosity and ambition of real-world scientists, engineers and inventors, who then work to turn these dreams into reality, once wild ideas become real technologies we use today. Things like space travel, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, which started as sci-fi dreams, have gradually come to life in labs and workshops. Innovators take inspiration from Sci-Fi’s imaginative ideas using them as a starting point to create new technologies. In turn, each new technology provides fresh material for sci-fi writers, who then create new, amazing stories. This ongoing interaction not only drives technological progress but also shapes our cultural views and dreams, showing the powerful and fun impact that the mix of imagination and innovation has on our changing world.

Co- Relating Sci-Fi, innovation and Patent:

Patents are not just awards; they encourage more creativity by recognizing and rewarding new ideas. This leads to more inventions, which inspire others to create even more. It’s like a never-ending loop of imagination and creation that helps us invent amazing things and dream of a future like in science fiction stories.

For instance, the telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell and the lightbulb, patented by Thomas Edison, profoundly changed the world by revolutionizing communication and extending the productive hours of the day. The telephone made instant, long-distance communication possible, shrinking the world and promoting global connectivity. The lightbulb provided a reliable, safe source of light, transforming homes and workplaces, and enabling activities and industries to operate around the clock.

In a world where many people have the imagination to invent beyond the stars, patents give these visionary creators the wings to reach their goals. Like science fiction stories, patents provide inventors with exclusive rights, and share their groundbreaking innovations with the world.

But hold on! Just mere being on fiction and dreaming to create something innovative is not going to get patented for that the idea should be given a shape in a form an invention which is accessible, and it can be either the process or the outcome, let’s make it clearer and more accurate through The Patent Act 1970.

The Patent Act 1970 is the principal legislation governing patents in India. This act outlines the legal framework for granting of patents, rights of patentees, and procedures for patent applications. While the act itself doesn’t explicitly mention science fiction, we can explore how patents inspired by science fiction might fit within its provisions.

Key Sections of the Indian Patent Act, 1970 relevant to Sci-Fi inspired inventions Section 2 – Definitions and Interpretations

The definition provided under this section includes various terms which are used in the act, such as “invention,” “patent,” and “patentee.” So, For the sci-fi inspired inventions, it’s crucial to understand the definition of “invention” which is described as a new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of industrial application.

Section 3 – What are not inventions- the following are not inventions within the meaning of this Act, —

(a) An invention which is frivolous, or which claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws.

(b) an invention the primary or intended use or commercial exploitation of which could be contrary to public order or morality, or which causes serious prejudice to human, animal or plant life or health or to the environment.

(c) The mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory or discovery of any living thing or non-living substance occurring in nature.

(d) The mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance or the mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or of the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product or employs at least one new reactant.

The subsection further extends up to 3(P) relating to what are not inventions.

Sci-fi inventions must navigate these exclusions to qualify as patentable.

Section 10 – Contents of specification

For a sci-fi inspired invention, the detailed description must clearly and sufficiently describe the invention so that a person skilled in the art can examine it.

Section 10(4) in The Patents Act, 1970

(4) Every complete specification shall—

(a) fully and particularly describe the invention and its operation or use and the method by which it is to be performed.

(b) disclose the best method of performing the invention which is known to the applicant and for which he is entitled to claim protection.

(c) end with a claim or claims defining the scope of the invention for which protection is claimed

(d)be accompanied by an abstract to provide technical information on the invention Provided that[2]

Section 25 – Opposition to the patent

This section allows for opposition to the grant of a patent. If a sci-fi inspired invention is seen as not meeting the criteria of novelty, inventive step, or industrial applicability, it could be opposed by interested parties.

Section 48 – Rights of patentees

This section outlines the rights provided to a patentee, including the exclusive right to make, use, sell, or distribute the patented invention. Sci-fi inspired patents would be protected under these provisions.

Section 53 – Term of patent

The term of every patent granted is 20 years from the date of filing of the application. This provides a time frame within which the patentee can exploit the invention commercially.

Hypothetical Example of a Sci-Fi Inspired Patent

Consider a hypothetical invention inspired by a sci-fi concept like teleportation. The invention might involve a novel method of instant travel using quantum method. To patent this invention in India under the Patent Act of 1970, the invention would need to satisfy the following:

Novelty: The teleportation method must be new and not disclosed in prior art.

Inventive Step: The method should involve a technical advancement or an economic significance that is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

Industrial Applicability: The method must be capable of being made or used in an industry.

By adhering to these criteria, a sci-fi inspired invention could be protected under the Indian Patent Act of 1970, potentially transforming visionary concepts from science fiction into practical, patented innovations.

For Reference: Press Metal Corporation Limited Versus Noshir Sorabji Pochkhanawalla and another 1982 SCC OnLine Bom 121: AIR 1983 Bom 144

If an invention fails to demonstrate a significant degree of creativity or innovation, it may not justifiably warrant the protection and exclusive rights that a patent provides. This underscores the importance of ensuring that patents are granted only to truly novel and inventive ideas that advance technology and contribute to progress.


Imagine you’ve just invented a hoverboard inspired by your favorite sci-fi movie. To get it patented in India, now you know the check boxes you have to click to get that idea into reality and patented in India. So, the next time you’re watching a sci-fi movie or reading a futuristic novel, remember: those outlandish ideas might just be tomorrow’s patented tech. And in India, the Indian Patent Act of 1970 is the gateway for turning these sci-fi dreams into our everyday reality.

Author:- Sakshi Shikha (Trademark Associate) & Rishika Kumari (Legal Intern)
Aumirah Insights

See More insights

Contact us

Partner with Us for Comprehensive Legal Solutions

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and help you determine which of our services best fit your needs.

Your benefits:
What happens next?

We Schedule a call at your convenience 


We do a discovery and consulting meting 


We prepare a proposal 

Schedule a Free Consultation