Summer and IPO, the latest heat has captured the nation’s attention. As a season’s greetings the IPO has given the green flag to awaited amendment rules announced in 2015 to be in force. The rules were come into force from May 16, 2016 and highlights of the same are as follows.
The diamond attraction of the amended rules is definition of “Startup”. India being a developing country; cultivating nation is an instant approach of the Government, and here the amended rules has provided its appreciation for the startups to encourage them more and more in the field. The definition is as follows;
‘(fb) “Startup” means an entity, where-
(i) more than five years have not lapsed from the date of its incorporation or registration;
(ii) the turnover for any of the financial years, out of the aforementioned five years, did not exceed rupees twenty-five crores; and
(iii) it is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialisation of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property:
Provided that any such entity formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence shall not be considered as a startup.
2) Condonation of Delay
The amended rules have paved the way for the delays done in transmitting or submitting documents to the Patent Office or performing any act to the party, in case of specific circumstances that “the delay was due to war, revolution, civil disorder, strike, natural calamity, a general unavailability of electronic communication services or other like reason in the locality where the party resides or has place of business, and that such situation was of such severity that it disrupted the normal communication in that area and that the relevant action was taken as soon as reasonably possible not later than one month from the date when such situation had ceased to exist:
Provided that the delay condoned by the Controller shall not exceed the period for which the national emergency was in force, or six months from the expiry of the prescribed period, whichever is earlier.”
3) Refund of fees
The refund of the fees in case where during the online process the Controller satisfies with the fact that fee has been paid more than once, in such condition the additional fees shall be refunded. The refund of 90 % fees paid for request for examination is also applicable if the applicant withdraws his request for examination.
4) Time for putting application for Grant
Seeing the backlogs from the past years, IPO has initiated to expedite the procedure in regard of time for putting application for grant is now reduced to 6 months with maximum of 3 months of the extension allowable with prescribed fees. It should be noted that previously the time for putting application for grant was 1 year.
5) Withdrawal of application
By giving option of refund in case of applicant withdraws his application before the issuance of first examination report, to do the task Draft Rules has introduce with FORM-29 to make the procedure easy. Before the amendments there was no prescribed Form for the withdrawal of the application.
6) Anonymous Identity “Form-30”
Till now the Patent Act was containing the tasks for which the prescribed Forms were not available and due to which it was very difficult for the patent applicants. The anonymous identity is given to “Form-30” where now it has specified to use the Form in case where Act does not prescribed any particular Form.
7) Deposition of Biological Material
Patent applications disclosing a biological materials has to submit reference to the biological material within three months followed by the necessary permission from the competent authority before Grant.
8) Digitalization touch
As the world and technologies growing the touch of digitalization to save time and money IPO has initiated the techno swag. The amended rules provide that now the hearings can also be held through videoconferencing or by other “communication devices” (having the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (ha) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000)) and in which written submission has to be submitted within 15 working days. The applicant with due reason may adjourn the hearings which are restricted for maximum of 2 times if the controller thinks fit in due course of written request made before atleast 3 working days and prescribed fees has been paid by the applicant where it has provided that each adjournment shall not be for more than thirty days.
9) Request for Expedite examination
Last but not the least, expedite request for examination can be made if (i) India has been indicated as the competent International Searching Authority or elected as an International Preliminary Examining Authority in the corresponding international application; or (ii) that the applicant is a “startup”. Also the amended Draft Rules has provided option to convert the ordinary request for examination in to the expedite request.
The Controller may limit the number of requests for expedited examination to be received during the year by way of a notice to be published in the official journal for such expedited examination.
The amended Draft Rules has provided new approach to the Patent World, where the amendments were focused to save time, money and to overcome the difficulties with the best possible ways offered by IPO. IPO and Summer are best as far as the coolers are available; with that being said, enjoy the “Heat” and search for the “Coolers”!