The Patents Act, 1970 was amended in 1999, 2002 and finally in 2005 to provide for product patents in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and agro-chemicals and bring in other necessary amendments in line with Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Patents Rules have been commensurately amended initially as Patent Rules, 2003, which were further amended in 2005, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. India became signatory to PCT in 1998. Consequently, patent filing in India including National Phase applications under PCT has increased exponentially. Indian Patent Office is a major PCT applications filing country and also functions as ISA/IPEA under PCT.
Indian Patent Office has been modernized in terms of automation, IT enablement and electronic processing of patent applications during last decade. The objective of modernization project was to increase the functional efficiency and streamline the procedures in tune with the international best practices.
Considerable changes have been effected in patenting procedures from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the amended Act and Rules and also to bring in automation, electronic work-flow, comprehensive e-filing, simplified and transparent procedures and efficient public service delivery of IP services.
The office has been regularly publishing the Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure to codify patent procedures for streamlining the functioning, provide benefit to stakeholders and also to provide guidance for prosecution of patent applications at Patent Office.
In view of recent amendments of Patent Rules, reengineering of patent procedures and automation in almost all activities in Patent Office, there has been demand to revise and update the present Manual.
Accordingly, the present version of Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure, hereinafter referred to as “Manual”, has been prepared , which is yet another step to fulfill our commitments towards more efficiency and transparency in the functioning of Patent Office.
This Manual may be considered as a practical guide for effective prosecution of patent applications in India. However, it does not constitute rule making and, hence, does not have the force and effect of law.
The Manual will be revised from time to time based on interpretations by Courts of Law, statutory amendments and valuable inputs from the stakeholders.