PATENTS AMENDMENT RULES, 2021 – Eshwars
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PATENTS AMENDMENT RULES, 2021

Authored by Padma Akila & Harini Venkatesh

The Centre vide its Amendment dated 4th November 2020, has reduced the statutory fee applicable for Start-ups and small entities (our note on the earlier amendment can be read here) for patent filing and prosecution.  Now, in their recent amendment dated 21st September 2021, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade published the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021 wherein educational institutions have also been added to the list of Natural Person, Start-ups and Small Entities,  in order to promote creation, innovation and development of new technologies in the educational sector.

Under the new rules, an Educational Institution has been defined under Rule 2(ca) as “a university established or incorporated by or under Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State Act, and includes any other educational institution as recognised by an authority designated by the Central Government or the State Government or the Union territories in this regard;”. Further, the term “educational institution” has been inserted to the Rules by way of the second proviso to Rule 7 (1) (i), Rule 7 (3) (ii), Table 1 in the First Schedule and to Form 28.

It is noteworthy to mention that the earlier amendment in Nov 2020, had reduced the filing fee by 80% for Start-ups and Small Entities. The idea behind adding educational institutions to the same realm is to encourage greater participation of the educational institutions and to promote further inventions. Benefits related to the reduced fee for patent filing & prosecution have been extended to all educational institutions irrespective of them being Government-owned/ aided or private universities.

The Patents Rules have consistently been amended in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020 to achieve the objective of removing procedural inconsistencies and unnecessary hurdles in the processing of applications thereby accelerating grant/registration and final disposal. Thus, the amendments have resulted in the following initiatives taken by the Department:

1. Augmentation of manpower by recruiting new examiners.

2. Simplified process of applying and granting patents completely through e-filing.

3. Seamless Patent Hearings through Videoconferencing for facilitating speedy and contact-less proceedings.

4. Scheme for Facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) has been launched to provide facilitators to start-ups for filing and processing of their applications.  Professional charges of such facilitators are reimbursed under the SIPP scheme.

5. A mechanism to lodge feedback/suggestions/complaints in respect of issues related to functioning of the IP offices has been set up in IPO website for the benefit of stakeholders (https://www.pgportal.gov.in/) and appropriate and prompt responses through e-mail are being communicated to such stakeholders’ suggestions/grievances and queries.

6. DPIIT through Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and in collaboration with the office of CGPDTM is regularly engaged in dissemination of information and knowledge to IP stakeholders by way of participation in awareness activities in IPR, conducted for schools, universities, industries, legal and enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders in collaboration with industry Associations in the country.

 

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