National IPR Policy unveiled in the year 2016 has brought out such remarkable changes in the IP. Administration throughout the country. Reforms undertaken in this journey till now have proved to be fruitful for the stakeholders /right holders including the start-ups. In fact, the “Scheme for Facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) launched in the year 2016 to encourage and facilitate IPR protection by start-ups has also been extended till March 2023.
The improvements introduced during the past few years such as amendments of Patents and Trademarks Rules, digital reforms and reengineering of IP procedures have resulted in the accomplishments that the IP Office has been striving for.
Modernization and strengthening of institutional mechanism, augmentation of manpower, paperless electronic processing, e-filing of applications, online delivery of certificates of grant/registration, periodic publication of list of First Examination Reports (FERs) issued, video-conferencing, SMS alerts, dynamic website and information dissemination, implementation of WIPO services in the working of IP office have been few of the significant contributors that have led to the achievements witnessed by the IP Office. This is an on-going process and we are going to witness many more such advanced changes in the IP functioning in India. The impact of the reforms can be seen as under:
- Filings have increased by 59.1 % vis à vis the year 2014-15.
- 50% fee concession is provided to the start-up Applicants. Total applications filed by start-ups accounted for 6090.
Examination and Publication
- Examination has increased by 101.5 % vis à vis the year 2014-15.
- The period of examination of new trademark applications have been reduced from 13 months to less than 30 days.
- Procedural reforms in examination have resulted in increased acceptance of trademark applications from 7 % to about 50% at the initial stage.
Registration and Disposal
- Disposal of applications has increased by 405.1 % vis à vis the year 2014-15.
- 11.62 lakh trademarks registered in the last 4 years (2016-17 to 2019-20) as compared to 11 lakh Registrations in 75 Years (1940-2015), thereby increasing the overall percentage to 607.4%.
- A trademark is registered in around 6 months in case of no objection and/or opposition filed as compared to 3-5 years earlier.
In addition, the Government of India has accepted the proposal for accession of India to the Nice and Vienna which help the Indian IP Office to harmonize the classification systems for examination of trademark applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.
- Filings have increased by 31.6 % vis à vis the year 2014-15.
- Domestic filings have increased to 37% from 28.2 % in 2014-15.
- 80% fee concession is given to the start-up Applicants. 3204 Applications were filed by the start-ups.
- Number of patent applications examined tremendously increased from 22631 in 2014-15 to 800088 by the end of last financial year showing an increase of 253.9 %.
- Time required for Patent examination has been drastically reduced from an average of 72 months in 2015 to 12- 30 months depending upon the technology fields. This is to be reduced further to around 12 months for all technology fields, by the end of this year.
- Facility of Expedited Examination has been provided to the start-ups and to the Applicants who have selected Indian Patent office as ISA/IPEA for their PCT applications.
- Recently, the Expedited Examination system has been extended to 8 more categories of Applicants vide the amendment of Patent Rules which came into effect on September 17, 2019. New categories include SME, Female applicants, Government Departments, institutions established by a Central, Provincial or State Act, which are owned and/or controlled by the Government, Government company, an institution wholly or substantially financed by the Government and applicants under PPH.
- Most of the applications have been decided within one year of filing the request for Expedited Examination as compared to the period of few years taken in case of a normal examination. The fastest granted patent is the one which was granted in 41 days after filing of such a request.
Grant and Disposal
- 24936 patents granted as compared to 5978 in 2014-15 out of which 309 were granted to the start-ups, thereby augmenting the overall percentage by 317.1 %.
- Disposal of applications has increased by 290.8% vis à vis the year 2014-15.
- It is expected that the time for final disposal of patent applications will be reduced to an average of 24-30 months from the date of filing by the end of 2021.
A pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) project with Japan has been signed and started in the month of December, 2019.
- Filings have increased by 53% from the year 2014-15.
- Pendency in the examination of new applications is continued to be done within 1 month from filing thereof.
- Examinations have increased by 82.9 % vis à vis the year 2014-15.
Registration and Disposal
- Registrations have increased by 71.7 % from the year 2014-15.
- Disposal of applications has augmented by 103.8 % vis à vis the year 2014-15.
In addition, the Government of India has accepted the proposal for accession of India to the Locarno Agreement, which will help the Indian IP Office to harmonize the classification systems for examination of design applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.
Computerization and reengineering of the registration processes has immensely improved the performance in the copyright domain. There has been no pendency in the examinations and registrations of Copyright, except in cases where there is a statutory waiting period and/or where the work is awaited from the Applicants. An increase of 22.9% has been recorded in the filing of copyright applications vis à vis the year 2016-17. Examinations have shown a tremendous increase of 106.1% from the year 2016-17. Number of copyright registrations has seen an exceptional increase of 346.1%, whereas final disposal of applications has shown an upsurge of 258% vis à vis the year 2016-17.
In addition, the Government of India accepted the proposal for India’s accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty, which extends the coverage of Copyright to the internet and digital environment.
|Year||Total Applications Filed||Total Applications Examined||Extract of Register of Copyright (RoC)|
As demonstrated above, the initiatives taken by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) have materialized in the form of numbers achieved by it. Treading on this path at this pace, our dream of having an efficient IP Ecosystem will soon be fulfilled.
article by Manisha Singh and Mahima Madan. 1st published on IP Link.