Friday, July 24, 2009

IPO Procedures Streamlined - Recommendations of FICCI-DIPP Working Group Accepted

This is further to my blog post on “Patent Prosecution Made Easy” which reflects the initiatives taken by DIPP in making the patent prosecution easier for the applicants upon recommendations given by FICCI’s IPR Division. We would like to inform our readers that a lot more has been achieved as a result of FICCI-DIPP Consultative Working Group on Patents, Designs and Trade Marks System in India (read here).

The IPO has issued a detailed Patent Office Procedures (POP) in an attempt to streamline the procedures of the Patent Office and the POP became effective on July 1st, 2009. Under the POP, all the functions of the Patent Office, except the administrative functions, are divided under different sections, fixing responsibilities on each individual functionary. There will be separate sections for initial receipt and screening of the patent applications, record management and information dissemination, general patent matters, examination and grant, and patent office journal.

The POP provides for quick digitization of the patent applications, including the amendments filed, in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) format and making it available online for public access. This is a welcome step as this will ease the prior art search of the filed documents which was otherwise not possible with the scanned digitized documents. Also, there are directions in the POP that ensures data verification at various levels before the application is made available to the public, so that the public is able to access the correct information. Now, by the implementation of the POP, the applicants and the patent agents will be able to easily identify the status of their applications and can easily track the movement of the applications. The applicant will easily come to know before which examiner the file is pending, for how long it is pending, etc.

Another major highlight of the POP is that now the information regarding the ‘Working of Patent’, i.e., the extent to which the patented invention has been worked in India, will be made available to the public through the official journal every year. This will prove to be valuable information both for people who are interested in filing the application for grant of compulsory license and for the Government in case the patented invention has not been worked in India. FICCI-DIPP Consultative Working Group advocated for streamlining the Patent Office procedures in various meetings. Any of our readers having any suggestions, recommendations or concerns related to patents, TMs, copyrights and designs, please send it to Sheetal Chopra, Head IPR Division of FICCI at so that she make take those issues during various Working Group meetings.

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