If one can analyse the trend of patent application filing in India, one can easily make out the growing trend of patent activity in the jurisdiction. Recently patent data was sent by the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Dr. S. Jagathrakshakan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha (Lower house of Indian Parliament). The data says:
The year 2009-10 witnessed a total application of 34287 out of which 7044 were filed by Indians whereas 27243 were filed by non-Indians. It shows 20.54 % applications were filed by India applicants; the year 2010-11 witnessed a total application of 39400 out of which 8312 were filed by Indians whereas 27243 were filed by non-Indians. It shows 21.10 % applications were filed by India applicants. This also shows that there was an increment of 18% of applications filed by Indians and overall 14.91% of applications received by India patent office; and the year 2011-12 witnessed a total application of 43197 out of which 8921 were filed by Indians whereas 34276 were filed by non-Indians. It shows 20.65 % applications were filed by India applicants. This also shows that there was an increment of 7.32% of applications filed by Indians and overall 9.63% of applications received at India patent office.
The above mentioned figures prove there is surge of patent related activities in India. Many in-houses are being set up by industries that specifically deal with patent related activities. This is really a good sign for India in terms of technological development. This shows India is also contributing to the technological development at par with many top most developing nations.
But some concerns and apprehensions related to pendency in grant of patents are also popping out. The level of pendency can be estimated by the fact that there are many applications that were filed way back in 2008 are still not examined. By April 2012 there were as many as 123255 patent applications pending with IPO.
One of the attributes for delay in grant of patent is the lack of examiners. Actually the numbers of filings were never so much previously, therefore numbers of examiners are seemingly less as compared to the number of applications filed. Taking the cognisance of present situation the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) that looks after patents and trademark has recruited around 248 patent examiners against a the working strength of 150 patent examiners / asst. controller to expedite the examination of patent examinations in year 2012.
Considering the pendency level the number of examiners seems very minimal. To add the difficulty further, IPO has become an International Searching Authority which means IPO can also search and give opinion on the Patent Applications that are being filed to WIPO and would add the woe further to IPO.
Recruitment of examiners would not serve the purpose in the near future because most of the examiners do not have any experience in patents, they are recruited only on the basis of their technical skill. Theses examiners do not have knowledge of patents and therefore requires time to train them for the same. The recruitment process should be on the basis of technical skill, patent skill, and knowledge of Patents Act, 1970. It’s very evident that the suggestion inclines recruitment to be strictly for experienced patent professionals but it can serve the purpose efficiently. Atleast if the recruitment is done in such a way for 2 years only, the difference could be witnessed.
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