Positive Light on the Horizon : Overview of the Annual IP Report 2015-16

The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) recently released its Annual IP Report highlighting the various activities undertaken by Indian IP offices during the year 2015-16. The report highlights accomplishments and statistically analyses the developments achieved in the IP landscape. The need for simplified and streamlined processes has finally metamorphosed into reality. The last few years have witnessed increased realisation by the Indian Government to provide for an improved IP ecosystem which shall complement the International Standards. The endeavour has been towards the establishment of productive IP based system at all levels, to establish India in positive light at global platform. Keeping track of that, India has performed well in the year 2015-16 and accomplished comparatively better results than the previous year. The key highlights of the 94 pages report are:

  1. OVERALL UPSURGE IN IP FILINGS: There has been an overall 30% increase in filings at the IP Office whereby the increase in Patents was 10%, in Designs in was 19% and the Trademark filings increased by 34.47%.

    Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

  2. PATENTS: India IP office reveals significant positive trends in Indian patent system. According to the 2015-16 report, there has been a 10% increase in filings of patent applications from last year. About 6326 of the applications were granted amounting to an increase by 5.78% and overall growth of 42.7% in the total number of applications disposed also including 13908 abandoned applications, 432 withdrawn and 1321 refused applications. There is also an upsurge of 52.80 % in the disposal of applications for which request for examination has been filed.

    Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

  3. DESIGNS: The Design registration system in India has also shown an upward trend in almost all aspects. About 11,108 applications were filed in 2015-16 as compared to 9,327 in 2014-15, which is a good 19% increase, owing to introduction of e-filing facility for new applications as well as 50% fee waiver for small entity through amendment in 2014 to the Design Rules, 2001. The number of applications that were examined and registered was 26% and 10% higher respectively than previous year. Even applications that were disposed in 2015-16 showed a staggering increase from 7,218 in 2014-15 to 8,023.

    Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

  4. TRADEMARKS: The trademarks registration system in India had the best overall growth measured in terms of applications filed, examined, registered and disposed. The Annual Report presented an upward trend in each category as compared to last year. Filing of applications indicated a 34.47% increase whereas 59.42% more applications were examined. Also, a significant increase of 56.4% and 38.86% were recorded in applications that were registered and disposed respectively in comparison to the trend of 2014-15.

    Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

  5. ACCELERATED IP DISPOSAL: The overall digitization and additional manpower improved the efficiency in speedy disposal of pending applications with the break-up of 42.7% rise in patents; 11% rise in design; 39% rise in trademarks and 30% rise in GI’s.

    Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

  6. SIGNIFICANT HIGHLIGHTS OF ANNUAL REPORT FROM PATENT PROSPECTIVE
    1. The publication of patent application increased to 41752 and out of these published application only 0.70% application received pre-grant opposition amounting to 290 applications where as only 06 post-grant opposition received, 10 were disposed and 160 cases remained pending in the reporting year. If we talk about early publications, 2316 applications were early published in the reporting year after receiving the request for early publication from the applicant.

      Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

    2. 135 applications were sent to Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and 95 patent applications were referred to Defence research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for their consideration DAE allowed 70 to proceed under normal course, DRDO cleared 82 applications to proceed under normal course.
    3. 4271 application seeking permission for filing outside India were received from Indian applicant and 4152 such permission were granted by IPO.
    4. Total number of Patents in force in India was reported 44,524 out of which 39,507 statements on working of patents were received and 8,589 were further reported as working.

      Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

    5. As International Search Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty Indian Patent Office (IPO) have received 1365 applications for international search out of which IPO have issued total 1141 International Search Reports to the applicants till 31st March 2016.

      Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

    6. Most number of applications, in the reporting year was filed in the field of Mechanical followed by Chemicals, Computer/Electronics, Communication and then others. The number of Patent applications filed under major fields is as follows:
      Field of Invention2014-152015-16
      Chemicals64546463
      Pharmaceuticals26402966
      Computer/Electronics42855988
      Communication43805770
      Electrical40314102
      Physics25292852
      Bio-Medical16691579
      Mechanical1003110164
      Polymer Science & Technology10591230
      Other Fields56855790
      Biotechnology1035887
      General Engineering775757
      Civil704749
      Textile629734
      Metallurgy & Material Science740727
      Agrochemical418479
      Food395387
      Biochemistry384372
      Micro Biology308316
      Agriculture Engineering229268
      Traditional Knowledge68114

      Data Source: Annual Report 2015-16, Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indication

  7. SIGNIFICANT HIGHLIGHTS OF OTHER FORMS OF IP:
    1. The Registered design in force in India at the end of Reporting year was 68481.
    2. The Trademark Registry has advertised 1,17,408 applications in 2015-16 as compared to 81,959 applications in the preceding year, which is a significant increase by 43.25%.
    3. With the objective to expedite and simply registration process, bring about higher efficiency and encourage individuals and businesses, alike, to seek protection for their respective trade mark, the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 have been enforced with effect from March 6, 2017.
    4. The e-filing journey has taken a new turn with the facility for online filing of all trade mark forms being made available.
    5. In order to achieve complete transparency, allotment of applications for examination has been automated, requiring no human intervention.
    6. Electronic system has been developed for issuance of registration certificates centrally from Trade Marks Office (TMO), Mumbai, which includes printing and dispatching of certificates.
    7. TMO has started sending official communications at the e-mail of the applicant or his authorized agent.
    8. The process of renewal of registration has been automated.
    9. Prompt actions are being taken on all the applications received by the Office of the CGPDTM under Right to Information Act.
    10. Extensive hiring of Examiners coupled with training.

In light of the current reformist strategies and incessant efforts by the Government of India, the bright future of IP cannot be denied or overlooked. The massive increase in the disposal rate of IP applications also marks the seriousness of authorities towards ameliorating pendency.

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