The Central Government has notified Patents (Amendment) Rules 2013, effective from 15th October 2013.
Amendment paves way for the Indian Patent Office to officially start functioning as an International Search Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under PCT from 15th October 2013. Applicants can now select the Indian Patent Office as the ISA while filing a PCT application. This will substantially reduce the cost incurred in filing the application from approximately USD 4000 (with EP as ISA) to around USD 1800 (which includes PCT filing of USD 1419 fees and Rs 10,000/- Indian ISA fees).
Under the amended rules, the Controller of Patents is now empowered to transfer patent applications between various patent offices in India. Under the previous rules applications could be prosecuted only through one of the four offices through which they were initially filed. There was no provision for transfer of files between various patent offices.
For biotechnology applications, applicants are now required to file sequence listings in text readable electronic format. Paper copies of sequence listings are not required. Applicants may thus avoid payment of fees on the extra pages containing sequence listing.
More details available on the Indian Patent Office website.