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PM-EAC for revamping the patent system to expedite grants

New Delhi: The Economic Advisory Council of the PM (EAC-PM) has suggested hiring more patent agents and setting the period during which the validity of a pending patent application can be challenged at six months.

These measures, said the EAC-PM in its presentation to the relevant ministries, including the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and NITI Aayog, will help speed up the patent granting process. and will also generate substantial revenue for the government.

India has no time limit for opposition before grant. This, coupled with the shortage of patent agents, extends the processing time for granting a patent in India up to 58 months in some cases. On the other hand, the processing time is 20 months in China and the United States and 15 months in Japan.

“India is rapidly emerging as a knowledge-based economy. This requires a competent IP framework with faster processing time,” EAC-PM member Sanjeev Sanyal told ET.

According to Sanyal, a revamped patent system should focus on timelines, simplified procedures, increased labor and adoption of artificial intelligence to become globally competitive.

Agencies

The EAC-PM said it was necessary to eliminate the 160,000 pending patent applications at the earliest, which would also generate huge revenue for the government.

In 2021, India granted 30,074 patents from a pool of 66,000 applications, generating revenue of Rs 1,000 crore. In the same year, the United States granted 350,000 patents and China 530,000.

The EAC-PM said that although there have been improvements in India’s patent regime over the past few years, the country still lags far behind some other countries in processing applications, prompting often even domestic players to apply for patents elsewhere.

However, the introduction of a pre-grant opposition calendar will force the DPIIT to change the patenting rules.

India has only 858 patent agents. While that’s a jump from 280 in 2016, it’s still tiny compared to 13,700 in China and 8,130 in the United States.

India has also seen a surge in domestic applications, with 44% of them coming from Indian entrepreneurs in 2021 compared to 29% in 2016-17, while the withdrawal rate of applications has decreased to 38% in 2022. compared to 66% in 2018. , mainly due to the delay in granting patents.