In the Economic Survey 2021-22 (a Press Conference by the Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran), the Principal Economic Advisor Mr. Sanjeev Sanyal said that increasing the number of examiners helped in reducing the time for grant of patents in India. He further added that reducing the application process time can help in increasing the number of patents granted in India. It would help the economy in a big way.
The time taken for processing a patent application was reduced to 42 months in 2020, from 64 months in 2017 and 52 months in 2019. Mr. Sanjeev Sanyal added that the number of patents granted in India had increased in the last 10 years, from 7,509 to 28,391. Notably, the share of patents filed by Indian residents increased to 41.5% in 2020-21. According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the number of patents granted in China, USA, Japan, Korea stood at 5.30 lakh, 3.52 lakh, 1.79 lakh, 1.35 lakh respectively for 2020; whereas India stands at around 28k patents for 20-21.
There are many ways of fast tracking the process of grant of an Indian patent. On way of fast tracking the process is by filing a request for expediting examination, either at the time of filing a patent application or after filing of the patent application in India. The request for expediting examination can be filed on any one of the following grounds, namely:
a) that India has been indicated as the competent International Searching Authority or elected as an International Preliminary Examining Authority in the corresponding international application; or b) that the applicant is a startup; or
c) that the applicant is a small entity; or
d) that if the applicant is a natural person or in the case of joint applicants, all the applicants are natural persons, then the applicant or at least one of the applicants is a female; or
e) that the applicant is a department of the Government; or
f) that the applicant is an institution established by a Central, Provincial or State Act, which is owned or controlled by the Government; or
g) that the applicant is a Government company as defined in clause (45) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013); or
h) that the applicant is an institution wholly or substantially financed by the Government; or
i) that the application pertains to a sector which has been notified by the Central Government, on the basis of a request from the head of department of the Central Government; or
j) that the applicant is eligible under an arrangement for processing a patent application pursuant to an agreement between Indian Patent Office and a foreign Patent Office.
The applicant is also required to make a request for early publication. After receiving such a request, the Patent Office publishes the patent application within a period of one month, provided the invention contained therein does not relate to atomic energy or is relevant for defence purposes. Under expedited examination, the examiner is obligated to issue the First Examination Report (FER) within 1 month, but not exceeding 2 months from the date of reference of the patent application by the Controller to the Examiner, for examination of the patent application. Further, the patent application is taken up for final disposal within 3 months from the filing of the response to the First Examination Report.


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