Patent law developments in India

By Rajeev Kumar and Pankaj Musyuni, LexOrbis
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India has a well-established judicial system to work out an effective intellectual property (IP) ecosystem. Based on feedback from stakeholders, the government has taken several initiatives to create awareness and inculcate a culture of innovation in India. During the year, the IP offices have been radically transformed through numerous initiatives, which have contributed tremendously to the understanding of IP and easing the patenting system to make it more user-friendly. Some of the developments that happened in 2017 are discussed herein.

Rajeev-Kumar-Partner-and-Head-of-the-Patents-Science-Team-at-LexOrbis
Rajeev Kumar
Partner and Head of the Patents Science Team at LexOrbis
in New Delhi
Tel: +91 9911758776
Email: rajeev@lexorbis.com

One of the significant achievements has been to conduct various awareness programmes to make IP-related issues understandable, and imparting knowledge to various sectors including universities, industries and the general public. The collaborations among the Indian Patent Office and industry associations like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) to conduct awareness programmes and raising awareness levels of the public have been noteworthy in augmenting the IP ecosystem. In this regard, the Modernization and Strengthening of Intellectual Property Office (MSIPO) scheme has been floated by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

To further enable the participation and utilization of the IP ecosystem, especially by small players like startups, the DIPP redefined the criteria for companies to qualify as a “startup”, effective from 1 December 2017. The new definition even clarified the inclusion of foreign startups, and also increased the tenure of startups from five to seven years from the date of incorporation. The DIPP also considered the difficulties associated with biotech startups and increased the tenure to 10 years from the date of incorporation to avail startup facilities. Startups can avail various benefits under the patent regime, such as fast-track examination and a considerably reduced fee.

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