- The government has amended rules and introduced several measures including a system similar to ‘tatkal’, to expedite examination of patent applications by start-ups as well as entities choosing India for the first filing of patent.
Why this move?
- There are around 2.37 lakh patent applications pending in the country.
- The government is aiming to bring down the time period for initial examination of patent applications from the present 5-7 years to 18 months by March 2018.
- The move is to popularise India as a patent filing hub so that more companies file applications in India. Now many applications for the initial examination are filed abroad, in places like Europe, the US or Japan.
- Government has also announced the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy to push IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool, promote innovation and entrepreneurship/start-ups, while protecting public interest.
- Under the ‘tatkal’-like system applicants can opt for the ‘expedited examination’- route on the grounds that they have chosen India as the competent International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority in the corresponding international application, and file their applications first in India.
- The ‘expedited examination’-route is also available to all entities that qualify as a start-up as per the definition for start-up provided in the Patent Rules.
- The applications for this route have to be filed only electronically.