IPO finally wakes up: Electronic filing of PCT Applications enabled

IPO finally wakes up: Electronic filing of PCT Applications enabledIndian Patent Offi­ce (IPO) has finally taken heed of the long pending demand of the PCT applicants to introduce electronic filing. The measure was long overdue since the PCT filers in India were forced to pay an additional 10% surcharge on official fees to the IPO as there was no way for them to file application electronically.

LexOrbis had made a representation to the Controller General on this issue which was resulting in undue financial burden on PCT applicants. Now in a major modernization initiative, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) has enabled electronic filing and processing of PCT applications.

Consequently, filing of PCT application with IPO, as the Receiving Office, can be done electronically via ePCT web link available on the WIPO website with effect from 15th November, 2014.

IPO has already notified International bureau of WIPO of the development and confirmed that it is prepared to receive and process international applications in electronic form. IPO has also put in place a help desk to answer questions from users of the service. The help desk may be contacted by e-mail at: patentin-pct@nic.in.

Patent filing became online in India way back in 2007, the facility, hitherto, had not been extended to PCT applications and hard copy of PCT applications needed to be submitted at receiving offices in India. Online filing will result in lesser official fee to Indian applicants and the new facility is expected to encourage more PCT filings from India.