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Rule-24

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24. Publication of application.—

The period for which an application for patent shall not ordinarily be open to public under sub-section (1) of section 11A shall be eighteen months from the date of filing of application or the dale of priority of the application, whichever is earlier

Provided that the period within which the Controller shall publish the application in the journal shall ordinarily be one month from the date of expiry of said period, or one month from the date of request for publication under rule 24A.

24A. Request for publication.—

A request for publication under sub-section (2) of section 11A shall be made in Form 9.

24B. Examination of application.—

(1) (i) A request for examination under section 11 13 shall be made in Form 18 within forty-eight months from the date of priority of the application or from the date of filing of the application, whichever is earlier;

(ii) The period within which the request for examination under sub-section (3) of section 11B to be made shall be forty-eight months from the date of priority if applicable, or forty-eight months from the date of filing of the application;

(iii) The request for examination under sub-section (4) of section 11B shall be made within forty-eight months from the date of priority or from the date of filing of the application, or within six months from the date of revocation of the secrecy direction, whichever is later;

(iv) The request for examination of application as filed according to the 'Explanation' under sub-section (3) of section 16 shall be made within forty-eight months from the date of filing of the application or from the date of priority of the first mentioned application or within six months from the date of filing of the further application, whichever is later;

(v) The period for making request for examination under section 11B, of the applications filed before the 1st day of January, 2005 shall be the period specified under the section 11B before the' commencement of the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 or the period specified under these rules, whichever expires later.

(2)(i) Where the request for examination has been filed under sub-rule (1) and application has been published under section 11A, the Controller shall refer the application, specification and other documents related thereto to the examiner and such reference shall be made in the order in which the request is filed.(substitutes "The period within which the Controller shall refer the application and specification and other documents to the examiner in respect of the applications where the request for examination has been received shall ordinarily be one month from the date its publication or one month from the date of the request for examination whichever is later" by 2016 amendment)

Provided that in case of a further application filed under section 16, the order of reference of such further application shall be the same as that of the first mentioned application.(substitutes "Provided that such reference shall be made in order in which the request is filed under sub-rule (1)" by 2016 amendment)

(Incorporated by 2016 amendment) Provided further that in case the first mentioned application has already been referred for examination, the further application shall have to be accompanied by a request for examination, and such further application shall be published within one month and be referred to the examiner within one month from the date of such publication. (end of insertion by 2016 amendment)

(ii) The period within which the examiner shall make the report under sub-section (2) of section 12, shall ordinarily be one month but not exceeding three months from the date of reference of the application to him by the Controller;

(iii) the period within which the Controller shall dispose off the report of the examiner shall ordinarily be one month from the date of the receipt of the such report by the Controller.

(3) A first statement of objections, along with any documents as may be required, shall be issued by the Controller to the applicant or his authorised agent within one month from the date of disposal of the report of examiner by the Controller (substitutes "A first examination report along with the application and specification shall be sent to the applicant or his authorised agent ordinarily within six months from the date of the request for examination or six months from date of publication whichever is later. In case other interested person files the request, for examination, an intimation of such examination may be sent to such interested person" by 2016 amendment).

(Incorporated by 2016 amendment) Provided that where the request for examination was filed by a person interested, only an intimation of such examination may be sent to such person interested" by 2016 amendment. (end of insertion by 2016 amendment)

(4) Reply to the first statement of objections and subsequent reply, if any, shall be processed in the order in which such reply is received.(substitutes "The time for putting an application in order for grant under section 21 shall be twelve months from the date on which the first statement of objection is issued to the applicant to comply with the requirements" by 2016 amendment)

(5) (Incorporated by 2016 amendment) The time for putting an application in order for grant under section 21 shall be six months from the date on which the first statement of objections is issued to the applicant to comply with the requirements. (end of insertion by 2016 amendment)

(6) (Incorporated by 2016 amendment) The time for putting an application in order for grant under section 21 as prescribed under sub-rule (5) may be further extended for a period of three months on a request in Form 4 for extension of time along with prescribed fee, made to the Controller before expiry of the period specified under sub-rule (5). (end of insertion by 2016 amendment)

24C. (Incorporated by 2016 amendment) Expedited examination of applications.-

(1) An applicant may file a request for expedited examination in Form 18A along with the fee as specified in the first schedule only by electronic transmission duly authenticated within the period prescribed in rule 24B on any of the following grounds, namely:-

(a)that India has been indicated as the competent International Searching Authority or elected as an International Preliminary Examining Authority in the corresponding international application; or

(b)that the applicant is a startup.

(2) A request for examination filed under rule 24B may be converted to a request for expedited examination under sub-rule (1) of rule 24C by paying the relevant fees and submitting requisite documents as required under sub-rule (1).

(3)Except where the application has already been published under sub-section (2) of section 11A or a request for publication under rule 24A has already been filed, a request for expedited examination shall be accompanied by a request for publication under rule 24A.

(4) Where the request for expedited examination does not comply with the requirements of this rule, such a request shall be processed in accordance with the provisions contained in rule 24B, with an intimation to the applicant, and shall be deemed to have been filed on the date on which the request for expedited examination was filed.

(5)The Controller shall refer the request for expedited examination along with the application and specification and other documents to the examiner, in respect of the applications where the request for expedited examination has been received, in the order of filing of such requests.

Provided that a request for expedited examination under this rule filed by a startup shall not be questioned merely on the ground that the startup ceased to be a startup after having filed an application for patent due to the lapse of more than five years from the date of its incorporation or registration, or the turnover subsequently crossed the financial threshold limit, as defined.

(6) The period within which the examiner shall make the report under sub-section (2) of section 12, shall ordinarily be one month but not exceeding two months from the date of reference of the application to him by the Controller.

(7) The period within which the Controller shall dispose of the report of the examiner shall be one month from the date of receipt of such report by the Controller.

(8) A first statement of objections along with any document, if required, shall be issued by the Controller to the applicant or his authorised agent within fifteen days from the date of disposal of the report of examiner by the Controller.

(9) Reply to the first statement of objections and subsequent reply, if any, in respect of an application where the request for expedited examination was filed, shall be processed in the order in which such reply for such application is received.

(10) The time for putting an application in order for grant under section 21 shall be six months from the date on which the first statement of objections is issued to the applicant.

(11) The time for putting an application in order for grant under section 21, as prescribed in sub-rule (10) may be further extended for a period of three months on a request for extension made in Form 4 along with the prescribed fee, made to the Controller before the expiry of the period specified under sub-rule (10).

(12) The Controller shall dispose of the application within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the last reply to the first statement of objections or within a period of three months from the last date to put the application in order for grant under section 21 of the Act, whichever is earlier:

Provided that this time limit shall not be applicable in case of pre-grant opposition.

(13) Notwithstanding anything contained this rule, the Controller may limit the number of requests for expedited examination to be received during the year by way of a notice to be published in the official journal. (end of insertion by 2016 amendment)