Excelling in Patent Prosecution in India

Excelling in Patent Prosecution in India

Under, we take a deeper have a look at the method of patent prosecution in India with Dr Anju Khanna, companion and head of the Patent Division at Lall & Sethi. Drawing upon greater than 20 years’ value of expertise within the sector, she shares her insights as to the simplest patent utility strategies and certain developments for the way forward for patent legislation in her jurisdiction.

To start with, are you able to describe the method concerned in patent prosecution in India and the important thing items of laws that regulate it?

Patent prosecution is regulated by the Patents Act 1970 in India. The innovations coated by patents in India pertain to solely utility innovations. Industrial designs are protected underneath the ambit of the Designs Act. The Patents Act 1970, together with the Patent Guidelines 1972, got here into power on 20 April 1972 (after changing the Patent Act 1911). Since then, varied amendments within the Patents Act (hereinafter known as the Act) and Guidelines have been caused on occasion. The Patents Act 1970 was final amended by the Patents (Modification) Act 2002 (38 of 2002). It’s learn along with the Patents (Modification) Guidelines 2021.

The patent prosecution course of begins with the submitting of a patent utility (provisional/full specification) on the Indian Patent Workplace (IPO). In case a provisional is filed, an entire specification is required to be filed inside 12 months of submitting the provisional, failing which the provisional routinely will get deserted. A international submitting license is required for an invention for which the inventor resided in India on the time of the invention, if the primary utility is to be filed exterior India.

An utility submitted to the Patent Workplace with an entire specification is revealed 18 months from the earliest precedence date underneath part 11A of the Act. A request for examination underneath part 11 B may be filed inside 48 months from the earliest precedence date. Thereafter, the appliance is referred to an examiner for technical examination with respect to the patentability of the subject material of the invention. Following an in depth examination, a First Examination Report (FER) is issued containing each formal and technical objections. The applicant has six months’ time from the date of issuance of the examination report back to put the appliance to ensure that grant, with a one-time extension of 1, two or three months.

A second examination report and/or an oral listening to could also be issued for additional clarifications and overcoming objections. New artwork could also be cited in these stories. Additionally, an utility, as soon as revealed, may be opposed by any particular person by submitting a pre-grant opposition till the date of grant underneath the provisions of part 25(1) of the Act. An utility can’t be granted prior to 6 months from the date of publication. A patent may be opposed by any particular person inside one 12 months of grant underneath the provisions of part 25(2) of the Act. A patent may be revoked any time after grant by an particular person underneath part 64 till the lifetime of patent both by submitting a revocation petition or in a counter declare in a go well with for infringement.

A international submitting license is required for an invention for which the inventor resided in India on the time of the invention, if the primary utility is to be filed exterior India.

India is signatory to varied worldwide treaties just like the Paris Conference for the Safety of Industrial Property, the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the TRIPS settlement. Therefore an utility may be filed both as an extraordinary or conference or nationwide section of a PCT utility.

Beneath rule 24C of the Act, an applicant could file for early or expedited examination. The next candidates are eligible to file for expedited examination underneath the Indian Patent Act:

  • An applicant who has chosen India as an Worldwide Looking out Authority (ISA) or as an Worldwide Preliminary Analyzing Authority (IPEA) in a corresponding PCT utility;
  • If the applicant is: a start-up as outlined in rule 2(fb) of the Patent Guidelines, 2003; or a small entity as outlined in rule 2(fa) of the Patent Guidelines, 2003; or a feminine pure particular person; or a authorities enterprise in accordance with part 2(1) (h) of the Act, in case of an Indian applicant, or is an analogous entity in case of a international applicant; or if an applicant is eligible underneath an association for processing a world utility pursuant to an settlement between the IPO with one other collaborating patent workplace.

The Patents Act 1970 is the first laws that governs patent submitting and prosecution in India. Being a signatory to the varied worldwide treaties, India is compliant with all its obligations underneath the treaties.

How lengthy does the patent utility course of ordinarily take, and what measures is the Indian Patent Workplace (IPO) taking to expedite patent purposes?

Ordinarily, the time to grant a patent relies upon upon time taken in numerous phases, which can fluctuate from round three to 5 years, relying upon the case. The time interval for submitting request for examination (RFE) is 48 months from the earliest precedence date. As soon as an RFE is filed, the appliance is examined between six months’ to at least one 12 months’s time. Step one in direction of expediting the method is to file for RFE as quickly as doable.

The IPO has taken a number of measures to extend transparency within the course of and reduce delays in prosecution. Your entire course of from submitting to grant is now carried out on-line, together with oral hearings and likewise opposition hearings which might be held via video conferencing. File wrappers of revealed purposes can be found on-line for public to entry. Dynamic on-line utility providers present up to date details about the standing of an utility. Vide observed as of 16 January 2023 that the IPO is enterprise hearings in pending issues in an expedited method. Along with these, there are specific classes of candidates who can avail of expedited examination provisions as talked about above.

How can an applicant greatest enhance their odds of getting their utility accepted by the IPO?

With the intention to enhance possibilities of a patent utility being accepted by the IPO, some common issues that have to be stored in thoughts are as follows:

Many innovations are rejected on the idea of the subject material of the invention, which mustn’t fall underneath sections 3 and 4 of the Patent Act, i.e. should fulfil the factors of eligibility. For instance, pharmaceutical innovations are usually objected underneath sections 3(d) and three(e); enough information have to be offered within the specification to justify the technical development over the prior artwork for 3(d) and synergy in case of a composition, mixture or formulation comprising a number of substances for 3(e).

As talked about above, CRIs are objected underneath part 3(okay). It is very important present technical impact of the software program to beat 3(okay). Additionally it is necessary to indicate a {hardware} part. For units which might be prone to be objected underneath part 3(f), it have to be ensured that it isn’t a mere association or re-arrangement of a identified system. The system have to be new and likewise all its elements should act collectively to supply the specified technical impact.

The IPO has taken a number of measures to extend transparency within the course of and reduce delays in prosecution.

With respect to innovations the place organic materials is used, a standard objection raised is with respect to NBA (Nationwide Biodiversity Act) permission. An applicant should make sure that if the subject material includes use of any organic useful resource obtained from India, its full particulars are offered within the specification and NBA permission is taken, if required, to keep away from an objection in the course of the examination stage that usually delays grant.

Enablement can be a quite common floor for objection. The claims have to be supported with enough information and data within the specification. Use claims and methodology of remedy claims aren’t allowed in India and have to be prevented.

An applicant should make sure that all of the formal necessities of an utility are complied with and that there’s strict adherence to the varied timelines. Requirement underneath part 8 ‘Assertion and Endeavor’ have to be taken care of by offering the main points of the corresponding international purposes inside the stipulated time. Strict adherence to the stipulated timelines with respect to every of the procedures concerned have to be noticed to keep away from formality objections.

What are the commonest errors that you just see made throughout patent prosecution, and the way do you assist your purchasers to deal with these?

Probably the most widespread errors dedicated by candidates is that they don’t disclose enough information whereas submitting the entire specification. It have to be borne in thoughts that if the invention will not be sufficiently disclosed and the subject material of the claims will not be enabled, it might result in rejection of the appliance. Subsequently, a stability have to be struck.

Voluntary modification of the as-filed specification after submitting will not be all the time allowed. The scope of amendments that could be allowed is restricted by part 59 of the Act. Subsequently, care have to be taken on the time of submitting of the specification to make sure that it’s fastidiously drafted.

One other widespread error is disclosure of knowledge associated to corresponding purposes filed in different jurisdictions that candidates fail to offer. Materials data not disclosed can result in refusal of an utility and is a floor for opposition and revocation of patent.

One other matter of concern is the strict adherence to timelines, failure of which can result in deadly penalties.

In your view, what abilities and applied sciences are most helpful in relation to bolstering the percentages of success throughout patent prosecution?

As soon as a patent utility enters into the examination stage, its destiny relies upon within the palms of the examiner involved. Subsequently, it is rather essential for an applicant or patent legal professional to deal with the examination/listening to stage of an utility skilfully. Communication abilities play a vital position in patent prosecution. Clear, to-the-point and efficient communication is a should.

Every of the objections raised within the examination report have to be fastidiously addressed. The prior arts have to be correctly studied in order to have the ability to clearly differentiate the subject material of the invention in query from the cited prior arts. The variations and the arguments have to be clearly represented with out leaving scope for any ambiguity. Additionally it is necessary that no assertion be made, in writing, at any stage of the prosecution which will act as an estoppel at a later stage, equivalent to throughout litigation.

Throughout hearings, the objections raised have to be clearly understood earlier than presenting a reply. Replies have to be exact and to-the level until an in depth reply is sought by the Controller. The applicant or legal professional should utilise the chance effectively.

Every of the objections raised within the examination report have to be fastidiously addressed.

Preserving a tab on all of the timelines as soon as a patent utility is filed till grant is essential to make sure that they’re strictly adhered to. Steady follow-ups with the IPO and self-audit of recordsdata on the IPO web site are additionally necessary.

Throughout your time as a practising IP lawyer, what important modifications have you ever noticed in the best way that patent prosecution is dealt with?

20 years in the past, solely processes had been patentable in respect of innovations referring to prescribed drugs, meals, medicine and substances produced by chemical course of. Since 1 January 2005, patents are open to grant in all classes of innovations, which has made a major influence in India.

Complete e-filing providers, together with hearings via video conferencing, have facilitated inventors and candidates, which have in flip enhanced patent submitting in India. Recording of hearings additionally assist keep away from misuse of the system.

Early disposal of the purposes has modified the entire working of IPO and has decreased the grant time. The search engine InPass has vastly improved and each doc filed with the IPO will get uploaded within the involved file wrapper inside the identical day .

A number of sorts of candidates can avail discounted official charges and expedited examination as talked about above. This has given a lift to filings by start-ups and academic institutes.

The IPO has revealed pointers for Pc Associated Innovations (CRIs), pharmaceutical and biotechnology-related innovations and innovations primarily based on conventional data. It has additionally revealed an up to date Guide for Patent Follow and Procedures. The Act requires approval from the Nationwide Biodiversity Authority for any organic materials obtained from India, acquiring which used to delay the grant of the appliance. This course of has now been streamlined by the IPO. In current occasions, the IPO has allowed grant of patent proper to a proper holder even when the approval from NBA has been underneath course of.

Do you foresee any main developments on the horizon for patent enforcement in 2023?

India is  an IP pleasant nation and  has formed and outlined its legal guidelines and requirements as per its world obligations underneath varied treaties .

Institution of the IPD (Mental Property Division) within the Excessive Court docket of Delhi in 2022 and different Excessive Courts (underneath course of) in India has aligned the nation with comparable world practices to take care of IPR-related issues. This may assist facilitate the environment friendly disposal of IP issues, in addition to bringing consistency within the precedents set by the Courts within the areas of IP legislation. The IPD offers with all issues that are within the nature of authentic, appellate or some other proceedings associated to IPR, which incorporates cancellation, revocation purposes, different authentic proceedings, appeals and petitions from the varied Mental Property Places of work.

2022 noticed the notification of the Excessive Court docket of Delhi Guidelines Governing Patent Fits, which gives procedures and mechanisms for less complicated, efficient and environment friendly adjudication of patent infringement circumstances. It additionally prescribes varied procedures associated to pleadings, hearings and so on. Implementation of those guidelines has led to the organising of normal procedures that may actually assist in adjudication of infringement fits.

Jurisprudence in patent area has considerably developed up to now decade and a half. India is turning into the jurisdiction of selection for Normal Important Patent (SEP) litigation. In just about each SEP case, the patentee has obtained beneficial orders from the Court docket both within the type of an interim injunction (that results in settlement between events) or deposition of interim royalties or financial institution ensures with the Court docket. With the appearance of 5G know-how within the telecommunication area, that is prone to enhance additional.

Equally, the formation of specialized IP courts within the IPD has seen fast development in growth of jurisprudence, a minimum of within the Delhi Excessive Court docket. With formation of IPDs in different Excessive Courts, the timeframe of patent litigation is predicted to see an extra important discount.


Dr Anju Khanna, Associate & Head, Patents

Lall & Sethi

D-17, South Extension II, New Delhi -110 049, India

Tel: +91 11-4289-9988 | +91 11-4289-9999 (Ext: 124)

M: +91 99-7168-1696

E: akhanna@indiaip.com


Dr Anju Khanna heads the Patent Division at Lall & Sethi and has additionally been the agency’s managing companion from 2019-2021. With greater than 20 years of labor expertise and 18 years within the subject of patents, she handles each patent prosecution and patent litigation on the agency. Dr Khanna oversees and handles work in varied know-how domains together with chemistry, prescribed drugs, telecommunications, medical units, electrical and mechanical innovations, and he or she is actively concerned with the Patent Workplace and the Division for Promotion of Business and Inside Commerce (DPIIT) relating to coverage choices.

Lall & Sethi is a boutique IP agency that gives an entire vary of providers referring to contentious and non-contentious IP points. Its areas of follow embody emblems, copyright, designs, patents, confidential data and commerce secrets and techniques, data know-how and leisure and sports activities legislation.

Supply By https://www.lawyer-monthly.com/2023/02/excelling-in-patent-prosecution-in-india/