Proposed changes in patent rules

Proposed changes in patent rules

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, introduced the Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023, on 22 August 2023, publishing them for public feedback.

Current rules require patent applicants to file details within six months of an application. The draft rules suggest that this obligation be streamlined. The controller will actively monitor publicly available information and, if necessary, request further details and written justifications from applicants.

Other proposals include:

  • Divisional applications can be based on provisional specifications. The timeline for submitting a request for examination will be reduced from 48 to 31 months.
  • Procedural alterations for managing opposition to patent applications – if the opposition is considered to lack merit, the controller may dismiss it.
  • Applicants will have two months to respond to a pre-grant opposition. A decision by the controller, ordinarily within three months, is envisaged. The hearing procedure for post-grant oppositions is also proposed for pre-grant oppositions.
  • The Opposition Board’s role in post-grant oppositions will be more efficient with a timeline for submitting reports reduced from three months to two.

The draft rules also envisage changes in fees – for instance, increased fees for filing post-grant oppositions and a 10% fee discount for patentees who make advance online payments for four or more years.