Patents Amendment Rules, 2021

News: Recently, the union government has introduced Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021 which has reduced the fee for patent filing and prosecution for educational institutions by 80%. It is aimed at promoting innovation and development of new technologies.

Details:

  • Educational institutions engage in many research activities, where professors and teachers and students generate several new technologies which need to be patented for facilitating commercialization of the same.
  • At the time of applying for patents, the innovators have to apply these patents in the name of the institutions which have to pay fees for large applicants, which are very high and thus work as a disincentive.
  • In this regard and to encourage greater participation of the educational institutions, official fees payable by them in respect of various acts under the Patents Rules, 2003, have been reduced by way of the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021. Benefits related to 80% reduced fee for patent filing & prosecution have been extended to all educational institutions. This benefit was earlier available to all recognized educational institutions owned by the government.
  • The fastest granted patent is the one which was granted in 41 days after filing of such request. This facility of Expedited Examination system was initially provided for patent applications filed by Startups.
  • It has been now extended to more categories of Patent Applicants:
    • SME (Small and Medium Enterprises),
    • Female applicants,
    • Government Departments,
    • Institutions established by a Central, Provincial or State Act,
    • Government Company,
    • an Institution wholly or substantially financed by the Government and
    • applicants under Patents Prosecution Highway.

Patents:

  • A patent is a form of preservation of intellectual property. It is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.
  • Patentability Criteria for an Invention:
    • It should be novel.
    • Must involve an inventive step (technical advancement)
    • Capable of industrial application
  • The term of every patent in India is twenty years from the date of filing the patent application, irrespective of whether it is filed with provisional or complete specification.
  • Patents Act, 1970 is principal law for patenting system in India came into force in the year 1972. It replaced the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911.
  • The Act was amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, wherein product patent was extended to all fields of technology including food, drugs, chemicals and microorganisms.
  • After the amendment, the provisions relating to Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) have been repealed, and a provision for enabling grant of compulsory license has been introduced.
  • The provisions relating to pre-grant and post-grant opposition have also been introduced.