According to the Indian Patent Act, a patent application may be filed by any of following persons including true and first inventor, assignee of the true and first inventor or the legal representative of the true and first inventor.
1. True and first inventor of the invention may apply for the patent. The person who invents a new product or a process has the right to file a patent application. True and first inventor means the person who is the first to invent and also the first in filing the patent application. Thus, a person who first invents a product or a process and also, first files the patent application is the true and first inventor.
2. Assignee of a true and first inventor may apply for the patent. Assignment in general terms means transferring ones rights to another person. In the perspective of patents, assignment means transferring the patent rights to someone else. The assignee is a person to whom the rights of a patent have been transferred by the inventor. For example, an employee of a company may assign his rights to the company. In this case, the company has the right to file the patent application.
3. The legal representative of the inventor has the right to file the patent application. Broadly, speaking the legal representative means a person who in law represents the estate of the deceased. If an unfortunate death of an inventor happens, then the legal representative of the inventor has the right to file a patent application on behalf of the deceased inventor.