Patent Amendment Rules 2021: 80% Less Fees For Educational InstitutionsNovember 26, 2021 By Dinesh Parmar
On September 21 of this year, the Department of Protection of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry introduced the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021. The Patent Amendment Rule 2021 presents an exciting avenue for educational institutions because it brings about an 80 percent reduction in fees for patent filing and prosecution in relation to such institutions.
To begin with the basics, patents are a form of preserving intellectual property. They grant exclusive rights to an invention. And in order to be eligible for these rights, the invention should meet certain criteria. It should usually provide a new method of doing something or offer a new technical solution to an existing problem. To get a patent, however, crucial technical information about the said invention would have to be made public through the patent application. The Patents Act that includes guidelines about this intellectual property came into force in 1972 and was amended in 2005 to include more fields of technology like food, drugs, chemical, and microorganisms to the purview of product patents along with other amendments.
Academic institutions are the cradles of many important inventions because a wide number of professors, teachers, and students engage in extensive research. But the high fees of getting a patent create an unavoidable barrier. So, institutions are discouraged from promoting research and the development of new technologies. And even if they are created, many inventions never get patented.
To prevent such situations, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade are trying to create an environment that is conducive to innovation. They have been developing ways of promoting widespread collaboration between the domains of industry and academia. The amendment in focus achieves this goal to an extent, by paving the way for commercialisation of the research that is undertaken by various entities in educational institutions across the country. It provides motivation to file for patents, because now institutions can generate even more revenue and create thought leadership. Ultimately, this leads to the growth of the Indian economy as a whole, because more and more innovations will be generated and patented.
Along with this, a few other changes have also been brought into force in order to make the process smoother and more accessible. The resulting process is, thus, significantly shorter, time-efficient, user-friendly, meaningful, and compatible with e-transactions. The following are some of the initiatives that have been taken by the Department of Protection of Industry and Internal Trade towards this goal.
- The department has been recruiting new examiners for the last 2-3 years, in order to boost manpower
- It has switched to a process of applying for and granting patents that is completely online
- It has also begun to accept video-conferencing as a means of conducting hearings of patent cases to facilitate contact-less and rapid proceedings
- It will also provide real-time information about intellectual property to the stakeholders through a revamped, dynamic website
- Additionally, a Scheme for Facilitating Startups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) has been launched in order to help startups through the process of patent filing and prosecution. The professional charges of these facilitators for consultation during the application for a patent are usually reimbursed through the SIPP scheme.
- A mechanism has also been set up on the official website so that stakeholders can easily lodge feedback, suggestions or complaints with respect to issues regarding the functioning of the IP offices. Once such a feedback, suggestion or complaint is received, a dedicated team works to quickly address the concern. And the concerned stakeholders are also kept up to date with the progress through email.
- Through the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), the DPIIT in collaboration with the office of Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM) regularly organises awareness activities related to intellectual property rights for proper and thorough dissemination of information and knowledge regarding intellectual property, to its stakeholders. These are usually conducted in schools, universities, industries, legal and enforcement agencies and all other touchpoints. Moreover, they are set up in tandem with industry associations across the country.
Moreover, the Department has also established an Expedited Examination System. Through this system, the application for the grant of patent is to be decided upon in a time period of up to one year from the date of filing the request for expedited examination. In comparison, the normal examination route usually takes a few years to reach the same culmination. This facility was initially provided only for patent applications made by startups. Now, from September 21, 2021, eight more categories of patent applications can avail of this option. These include SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), female applicants, government departments, institutions established by a central, provincial or state act, government companies, the institutions that are wholly or substantially financed by the government, as well as applicants under the Patents Prosecution Highway. The term Patents Prosecution Highway (PPH) refers to a set of initiatives that promote quicker patent prosecution procedures by sharing information across some patent offices.
The Patent Amendment Rule 2021 has already begun to make an impact on the way Indian patent registration functions. In the year 2015, the Department took around an average of 72 months for the examination of patents. This time period has been reduced to about 12 to 30 months now. This means shorter waiting periods and faster access to intellectual property rights for innovators.
Although the process has become more people-friendly than ever, there are still a few things to be kept in mind before applying for a patent. Does your organisation qualify as an educational institution? Make sure to go through the criteria properly. Remember to fill the Form-28 at the time of patent application if you wish to be considered as an educational institution and the Form 18A if you wish to file an expedited request. For more information about the process, it is better to consult an expert to ensure that all your documents are in order. This assures that your patent is the most likely to get approved. To learn more, get in touch with us.
As a patent law firm that is widely reputed and referred to in Ahmedabad - India, we make this process even more convenient for our clients. We not only help you navigate the tricky domain of gaining and defending your patents, but also help you create a strong strategy for intellectual property rights, during every step of the process. In case of infringements, we proceed with an attention to detail and safeguard your intellectual property rights, so that you are the only one who gets to reap the benefits of your invention.