On Tuesday, the union government announced the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which lowered the cost for patent application and prosecution by 80% for educational institutions. The decision was made to boost the knowledge economy’s innovation and creativity.
“In order to establish a favourable climate for innovation, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has been working towards encouraging stronger cooperation between industry and academia,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry stated in a news statement on Thursday. This can be accomplished by making research conducted in educational institutions more commercially viable.”
The high patenting cost hampered educational institutions’ ability to patent newer research and innovations, acting as a deterrent to the development of newer technology, according to the ministry. Innovators had to apply for patents in the names of institutions that had to pay exorbitant patenting fees. However, the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021, have lowered the official fees they must pay in accordance with the Patents Rules, 2003.
Furthermore, in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020, the government revised the patent laws to eliminate procedural inconsistencies and needless procedures in the processing of patent applications. These have aided in the speeding up of the grant, registration, and final disposal processes, making them more efficient, user-friendly, and e-transactions compatible.
In this respect, the department has made important steps. These include increasing manpower by hiring new examiners; completing the patenting process entirely online; hearing patenting cases via video-conferencing for faster, contact-free proceedings; and dynamically redesigning the website and disseminating IP information to stakeholders in real-time.
In addition, the IPO website now has a mechanism for filing feedback and complaints about the operation of IP offices. The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, in collaboration with the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM), engages in regular dissemination of information to IP stakeholders through IPR awareness activities for schools, universities, industries, legal and enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders.
The ministry also stated that these reforms have aided in reducing the time it takes to examine patents, with the expectation that by the end of 2021, the time it takes to finalise patents, which has already been reduced to an average of 48 months from a few years ago, will be reduced even further to an average of 24-30 months.
In a press release, the ministry stated, “An Expedited Examination System has been introduced whereby an application for grant of patent is decided within one year of filing such request under Expedited Examination as opposed to the period of several years required in the case of the normal examination route.”
Source: Hindustan Times