Patent registration: Centre plans cutting approval time to 15 months from 5-6 yrs

As many as 2,26,339 patent applications were pending as on July 31, 2015, due to shortage of professionals, according to the government data.

Written by Shruti Srivastava | New Delhi | Updated: November 23, 2015 1:51 am

In a move that is likely to give a push to innovation and encourage patent registration in the country, the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) is working towards reducing the time taken in getting approval for a patent application from the current 5-6 years to 15 months.

A senior official told The Indian Express that the industry department has already initiated the process of bringing down the time taken for completion of the process by recruiting as many as 459 additional patent examiners to examine the patent applications, a process that usually takes around 18 months.

“We are recruiting on a large scale because shortage of staff has been one of the prime reasons for the piling of applications. Further, efforts are on to enhance the infrastructure and IT support for dealing with patent applications. By these efforts we expect patent filing to go up to 60,000 a year and then further to one lakh in 2-3 years time,” the official said.

As many as 2,26,339 patent applications were pending as on July 31, 2015, due to shortage of professionals, according to the government data. Some 43,000 patent applications, on an average, are filed every year in the country. Of these, a few thousands are withdrawn, leaving roughly around 35,000-38,000 patent applications for examination, the official explained adding that for expediting the process, some 263 patent examiners have been recruited on contract basis as well.

“By building space and IT infrastructure along with speedy recruitment, we expect the total time taken will come down to 15 months. The efforts will be then made to bring it further down,” the official said.

Further, changes have also been proposed in the patent rules. “Currently, if you want to withdraw your application, you have to pay a charge. This practice was discouraging people to withdraw their applications, leading to the pile up. We have decided to do away with the charge. This will hugely unclog the system. Globally, 15 per cent applications get withdrawn so we are expecting a huge response to this. This will decongest our system,” the official said.

The department has also decided to outsource the work of searching database, a move that will free up its time and resources for approving applications in time. The time taken for filing reply by the applicant has also been reduced from 12 months to 6 months.

According to the data, of the four patent offices, as on July 31, 2015, Delhi at 83,291 had the maximum number of pending applications followed by Chennai at 74,390, Kolkata at 40,558 and Mumbai at 28,100.

Further, for trademark applications as well, the industry department is working on bringing down the time taken for examination from around 13 months to one month. Around 2 lakh trademark applications are filed and the efforts are on to bring down the total time taken for granting trademark to four months from the current 15-18 months.

Patent filing likely to go up to 60,000 a year 

Efforts are on to enhance the infrastructure and IT support for dealing with patent applications. By these efforts we expect patent filing to go up to 60,000 a year and then further to one lakh in 2-3 years time.

Some 43,000 patent applications, on an average, are filed every year in the country. Of these, a few thousands are withdrawn, leaving roughly around 35,000-38,000 patent applications for examination.

According to the data, of the four patent offices, as on July 31, 2015, Delhi at 83,291 had the maximum number of pending applications followed by Chennai at 74,390, Kolkata at 40,558 and Mumbai at 28,100.

The department has also decided to outsource the work of searching database, a move that will free up its time and resources for approving applications in time.