The Indian Patent office has notified the Draft Patent (3rd amendment) Rules 2010, which have are open for comments before finalization. The major highlights of the amendments are as follows:
The amendment paves way for creating the Indian Search Authority which will be headquartered at the Delhi Patent office. Filing PCT application would become more economical and convenient for Individual inventors due to significant reduction in fee charges for ISA. After the draft rules come into force, an individual will be able to file a PCT application in approximately Rs 21000/- (USD 460) by selecting India as the ISA (taking into account 75% reduction in the International Filing Fee). The minimum amount at presents stands roughly around Rs 29000/- (USD 650) if one selects Austria as the ISA.
Another highlight of the amendments is power accorded to the Controller in transferring the application between various patent offices. This one was on the wish-list for a lot of people I have spoken too. Currently, there is no provision for transfer of applications between the various patent offices and it often results in extreme inconvenience for applicants who shift to a different jurisdiction and may find it difficult to prosecute the application through the office it was originally filed at. Besides, I need not mention the benefits it would have in preventing unauthorized practices at the patent office.
On the Biotechnology front, the amendments would require applicants to file sequence listings in the electronic format along with a flat fee structure (Rs 2500/- individual and Rs 10000/- corporate entity). About time the patent office does away with the practice of considering sequences listings as part of the specification for the purpose of fee calculation. Hard copies of sequence listings are excluded from the fee calculation for number of pages in most of the foreign jurisdiction. This will amount to huge savings for Bioinformatics application which containing sequence listings running into hundreds of pages.