The Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023

The Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023

News: Recently, the government has released Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023 rule, under the Patents Act of 1970.

About The Patents Act, 1970:
• It was established in 1972, and replaced the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911.
• In 2005, the Patents (Amendment) Act expanded product patenting to all technology fields, including food, drugs, chemicals, and microorganisms.
• It repealed Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) provisions, introduced compulsory licensing, and included pre-grant and post-grant opposition provisions.

Key provisions of Draft Amendment Rules:

Pre-Grant Opposition (PGO) filing
• PGO is a pre-grant opposition filed after patent publication but before its grant.
• There will be a variable fee for Pre-Grant Opposition (PGO) filing. Previously it was free.
• PGO filing, previously open to anyone, will now be determined by CGPDTM.

Notice Time Period
• The time period for applicants to reply to notice on PGO has been reduced to 2 months.

Working Statements
• Working statements are to be submitted once every 3 years by patent holders.

Timeline for Filing Requests for Examination
• The timeline for filing Requests for Examination is reduced from 48 to 31 months.

Disclosure of Manufacturing Location and Price
• Disclosure of the patented product’s manufacturing location and price is no longer required.

What are patents?
• Patents are government-issued exclusive rights that grant inventors or assignees the sole authority to utilize, make, sell, or license their invention for a limited period, generally 20 years.

Who grants patents?
• Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) under the DPIIT (Ministry of Commerce & Industry)
• Patents in India are governed by “The Patent Act 1970,” which was amended in 2005 to comply with TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).

What are the criteria for issuing patents in India?
• Novelty or Newness - The invention should be new, meaning it has not been published earlier and there is no prior public knowledge or use of it in India.
• Non-Obviousness or Inventive Step - The invention must involve an inventive step, which means it is technically advanced in comparison to existing knowledge and non-obvious to a person skilled in the relevant field of technology.
• Usefulness or Utility - The invention should be capable of industrial application
• It’s important to note that certain inventions are not patentable, such as frivolous inventions, methods of agriculture or horticulture, traditional knowledge, computer programs, inventions related to atomic energy, plants & animals, and mere discovery of scientific principle. 

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