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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Amendments to Patent Law India

The Government of India in May 2006 brought amendment in the existing Patent rules with a view to bring in more transparency, relaxing rigid time frames for compliance, time bound processing and simplify various procedures associated with processing of Patent applications in India.As per the changes notified under the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2006, official fees can now also be paid through Electronic means. Further the patent Applications are now to be published in the Journal ordinarily within one month after expiry of the statutory period of 18 months or one month from the date of request for publication under Rule 24A in case of request for an early publication.Further, to ensure time bound disposal of patent applications, definitive timeframes have been prescribed e.g. patent application ordinarily has to be referred by the Controller to an examiner within one month of a request for its examination or its publication, whichever is later and the controller shall be required to take a decision within one month of the submission of report by the Examiner, and the first examination report must be issued in six months of the date of request for examination of a patent or six months from date of publication whichever is later.Further the time for granting permission to file Patents abroad has been reduced to just 21 days from day of request.With a view to soften the rigid time frames for compliance and to make the system more use-friendly, the timeframe for making a request for examination has been extended from 36 to 48 months and the time for putting an application for patent in order of grant has been extended to twelve months from issuance of first objection report.For ushering transparency in grant of patent no patent shall be granted prior to six months from date of publication of application. Therefore the effective timeframe for filing a pre-grant opposition got extended from 3 to 6 months and the time for filing reply statement and evidence to pre-grant opposition has been extended from 1 to 3 months. Further Patent Certificate shall now be issued within 7 days from the date of grant of patent.

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