Centre to Take Measures to Expedite Patent Approvals – A Sigh of Relief for Patent Approvals in India
Patent Approvals protection, a property right granted to the inventor for his/her novel invention undeniably provides him the right to exclude others from the exploitation of his invention which implies that intellectual property of inventor is protected. Patent law has truly emerged as one of the most effective laws that prevent infringement of the intellectual property of an inventor.
However, there is a downside to the implementation of this law i.e. the patent approval takes a long time as a number of factors are taken into consideration prior to giving the approval for the patent. As a result, the applicant has to wait for long. However, there is now a good news for all the applicants of a patent where the examination time will be reduced to a shorter span.
Shortly, the news on expediting patent examination has come as a relief to the entrepreneurs. In a recent event in Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) informed that Government is all set to take effective measures to reduce the examination time for patent approvals. In order to achieve this milestone, the government will be setting a quarterly, monthly, half-yearly and an annual benchmark.
As the current time taken for the first examination of patent applications is between 5 to 7 years, it will be reduced drastically to 18 months which is the benchmark set in the U.S for the first examination of the patent applications filed. One of the fastest and imperative measures taken by the government recently is to increase the strength of existing 130 examiners of patents and designs to a strength of 458 examiners. Further, 263 examiners are in the pipeline to be soon hired on contractual basis. This target is set to be achieved by March 2018.
The expedition of a trademark has also been doubled with the hiring of around 100 new trademark examiners resulting in the reduction of trademark examination time from 13 months to 8 months. The target is to further reduce the time to one month by March 2017. The same is being followed for patents by start-ups after realizing and identifying the reason as the shortage of manpower behind the pendency of applications in patent department. Adding to it the panel has decided to give its report regarding the patentability of computer-related inventions after April 30 as told by Mr. Abhishek.
The government is consistently taking great measures to reduce the time to examine patent applications for clearing them at the earliest. The government has appointed a panel of around 80 lawyers to ensure free consultation to start-ups. Besides this, online examination for patents has proved to be very advantageous in reducing pendency in terms of examination of patents.