Friday, July 10, 2009

Patent Prosecution Made Easy

One of our great friend and well wisher, Sheetal Chopra has updated us that the Indian Patent Office has decided to issue electronic notifications to patent applicants. This step is a landmark achievement in the history of the Patent Office and was a long felt need to the patent stakeholders. FICCI, during the fifth Consultative Working Group Meeting on Patents, Designs and Trademarks in India held in April 2009, made strong recommendations to the Patent Office about the need for initiating electronic correspondences regarding any matter related to patent prosecution. The notification has become effective on the 1st of July, 2009. This has come as a great respite for applicants or patent agents as they would now be receiving all communications from the Patent Office, including notices and examination reports, electronically. Further, the notification also directs the applicants and patent agents to provide their email ids at the time of filing the patent application.

The new mechanism of sending electronic communication will alleviate the burden of both the Patent Office and the applicants. The significance of electronic communications in the digital era has been reiterated time and again as the easiest mode of communication, with provisions for easy access and storage. Further, the applicants need not be physically present at the mailing address. Another major problem with paper communication was the delay in receiving the communication, which can even result in abandonment of the patent application. This issue also is resolved by resorting to the electronic mode of communication. Introduction of electronic correspondence is a boon for stakeholders as it will ease the task of patent prosecution in India, especially for applicants residing in foreign countries. Mr. P H Kurian, Controller General of the Patent Office, deserves to be appreciated for this major accomplishment and for his zealous efforts to reform the patent regime in India. This is a major step taken by the Patent Office to reaffirm its commitment to raise its standards and competence at par with international standards and also to expedite the patent granting process.

Patent Circle would also like to thanks and appreciate the contribution and painstaking efforts made by Sheetal and FICCI in recommending and bringing constructive changes in the working of the Indian Patent Office. We hope their efforts and hardwork will continue to bring positive changes and transparency in the Indian patent system.

1 comment:

  1. Varun
    Shamnad also ran one petition which many of us signed. Its metion has been leftout FICCI and Sheetal's initiatives

    Uday Gokhale