IPO releases new manual for patent office practice and procedure

MPPP

The IPO has released a new Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure (MPPP). The manual has been prepared after taking into consideration stakeholders’ inputs on the draft manual published in March 2019.

The manual replaces the earlier manual of 2011. The manual takes into consideration the multiple amendments that have been made to the Patents Rules 2003 over the years and the substantial digitization of the processes at the IPO.

It should be noted that manual does not constitute rule making and, hence, does not have the force and effect of law. However, since the personnel at the IPO are expected to follow the practice and procedure laid out in the MPPP, the manual will largely dictate the general procedure that is likely to be practiced by patent agents during prosecution of patent applications.

The manual, compared to its earlier version, provides insight into how documents need to be submitted electronically and physically, when required, owing to the digitization efforts of the IPO. The manual also provides insight into certain procedures that have been streamlined owing to IPO’s adoption of WIPO-DAS. Additionally, the manual provides clarity on certain formal and procedural aspects, wherein the practice was not uniform across Controllers of various offices of the IPO, and with these clarifications, we expect uniformity in practice.

Regarding general contentious issues during prosecution, the manual incorporates a few case laws relating to “inventive step” requirement of patentability. However, regarding “non-patentable” subject matter requirement under Section 3 of the Act, the manual points to existing guidelines that specifically deal with computer-related inventions, traditional knowledge and biological material, biotechnology applications and pharmaceuticals. Hence, in terms of contentious issues, the new manual does not add anything significant.

We hope you found the summarization of the new manual useful. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries regarding the new manual.

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