Thursday, 6 April 2017

Pending Patents and Trademark Applications

As on 01.03.2017, 247824 patent applications are pending at various stages of disposal, out of which 206836 are pending at the examination stage. Also, 753471 trademark applications are pending at various stages of disposal, out of which 45043 are pending at the examination stage.

The Government has taken various measures to clear the pending applications, namely:
(i)            To address the issue of lack of technical manpower for examination and   disposal of     patent and Trade Mark applications, available manpower has   been augmented through creation of new posts.

(ii)          Recruitment has been completed for 459 posts of Examiners of Patents and   Designs,   of which 396 new appointees have started examination work  after undergoing   training, in addition to the existing 130 Examiners.

(iii)         Further, 76 new posts of Patent Controllers have also been created.

(iv)         The number of Examiners of Trade Marks and Geographical Indications has   also been augmented through 100 Examiners on contract.
(v)          IP awareness and training programmes are regularly conducted at Rajiv  Gandhi  National Institute of Intellectual Property Management    (RGNIIPM) Nagpur.

(vi)         Patent Rules have been amended and notified on 16.05.2016 to simplify procedures  for disposal of patent applications.  The salient amendments      include:

a)            Provisions have been included for condonation of delay due to war/ natural   calamities.

b)            For the first time, refund of fees in certain cases has been permitted, as also  withdrawal of application being permitted without any fees.

c)            Timelines have been imposed to ensure speedy disposal, while the number of  admissible adjournments has been limited

d)            Applications can be transferred electronically from any of the Patent Office  branches   to another, utilizing specialized technical manpower more  efficiently.

e)            Expedited Examination is now permitted on certain grounds.

f)             Hearing through video conferencing has been permitted.

(vii)        IPO website has been updated to make it more interactive, informative, user-   friendly  and transparent.

(viii)      In order to facilitate the examination work and optimise the speed and quality       of             examination, number of measures viz., computerised work-flow,  automation and IT   enablement in the functioning has been implemented.

(ix)         The process of registration and renewal of Trademarks has been automated  by  uploading the registration certificate electronically in the electronic   register and   dispatching the same to the applicant’s registered email id.

(x)          A ‘Pre-Hearing Module’ has been devised to ensure that show-cause hearings   are not   scheduled except in cases where the office objections cannot be    waived on the basis   of the reply submitted by the applicant and   material available on record.

(xi)         The Government has notified the new Trade Mark Rules, 2017 on 6th March,  2017 to  streamline and simplify the processing of trade mark   applications. Some of the salient features of the new Trade Mark Rules, 2017  are as under:

a)            Number of Trade Mark (TM) Forms has been reduced from 74 to 8.

b)            To promote e-filing of trade mark applications, a 10% rebate is provided for e- filing  of Trade Mark applications vis-à-vis physical filing.

c)            Modalities for determination and maintenance of well-known trade marks have    been introduced.

d)            The provisions relating to expedited processing of an application for  registration of a trade mark have been extended right up to registration  stage (hitherto, it was only up to examination stage).

e)            Over all fees have been rationalized by reducing the number of entries in  Schedule I   from 88 to just 23.

f)             Hearing through video conferencing on request has been introduced.

g)            Number of adjournments in opposition proceedings has been restricted to a  maximum   of two by each party, which will help in timely disposal of  matters.

h)           Procedures relating to registration as Registered User of trade marks have  also been  simplified.

            This information was given by the Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.


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