Proactive steps taken by the Indian Patent office in engaging and addressing issues raised by stakeholders

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The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks (CGPDTM) Office had called for a stakeholders Meeting on the 14th of December, 2016. The details of this meeting were published on the website on January 11, 2017.

There were a quite a few issues raised and suggestions received from the stakeholders at the meeting. Subsequently, the CGPDTM gave clarity on the steps being taken to resolve some of the issues and the improvement of some of the processes.

Some of the details are as follows:

Responding to a query on attorneys having to pay an exorbitant fee for their address change, CGPDTM responded saying that the prescribed fee had to be paid for changing the address. CGPDTM added saying that provision has been made for providing an additional email address.

Responding to another query on patent applications being abandoned even after filing a timely response, CGPDTM acknowledged the fault saying that the electronic entry of the timely response was recorded under incorrect category and that necessary action is being taken. CGPDTM also said that the wrongfully abandoned applications have been recalled.

Another important query was with regards to the inconsistency at the Delhi Patent office regarding the implementation of the CRI related guidelines. The CGPDTM said that a committee had been already formed by the Government to look into the issue and that the committee has already submitted their report.

Also, an enquiry was made at the meeting in relation to the newly introduced three-month extension in Patents Rules. The query was regarding whether the extension may be taken thrice for one month each or whether it should be taken at once for 3 months. The CGPDTM clarified that a single request for an extension, subject to a maximum of three months, is expected as per the rules.

Responding to the allegations of Controllers, in some instances, not examining the divisional application if the parent application has been rejected or withdrawn, the CGPDTM said that necessary directions are being issued to examine a divisional application in accordance with the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2016.

The CGPDTM were also asked to explain their official stand on PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway), to which the CGPDTM responded by saying that the Government, at present, is not considering it.

The stakeholders were of the opinion that a notice period of two weeks for a hearing was too short. In response, the CGPDTM stated that instructions have been issued to increase the hearing notice, probably to 4 weeks.

Regarding a query related to expediting the examination of applications related to volatile technologies which have a short life, the CGPDTM said that technology-based expedited examination was not possible as per the existing rules.

Details of the issues and responses discussed at the meeting can be found here

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