The Intellectual Property Office has recently issued its annual report for the year 2021-2022. Our post covers some key aspects.
- The fee concessions & provisions for the expedited examination have been given to specific categories of applicants, including Startups, MSMEs, and female applicants, to encourage IP filing in the sectors of critical importance to the country.
- To recognize the importance of educational institutes in the country’s innovation and IP ecosystem and encourage greater participation, the Patents Rules, 2003, were amended on September 21, 2021, to reduce official fees payable for patent filing and prosecution by 80%.
- To streamline the processing of Trademark applications by extensive use of information technology and to facilitate the stakeholders, all Show Cause Applications hearings (applications that are not accepted after the written response has been filed by the applicant to preliminary refusal) were shifted entirely to Video Conferencing mode.
- To address the Covid-19 pandemic, the IP office took measures and speedily transformed the functioning to a virtual mode to minimize the adverse effect on the efficient examination of the IP applications due to the imposition of lockdowns. Steps were taken to implement “work from home” through a VPN facility that ensured secured access to officers and staff.
- Procedural reforms brought in by amendments in rules and process reengineering have increased trademark applications acceptance at the initial stage to about 50%. Copyright Office has also shown improved performance due to computerization and reengineering of processes. The filing of copyright applications has increased by 26.74%, while registration of copyright increased by 26.06% compared to last year.
- India has also proposed the inclusion of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) in the PCT Minimum Documentation.
Data from the report shows:
- Overall, IP filings have seen a growth in numbers. Patent application numbers increased by 13.57%, Design by 59.38%, trademark registration by 2.12%, and copyright filings by 26.74%.
- Trademark filing shows the most significant number of applications received was in respect of goods in Class 05 (Pharmaceuticals, Veterinary etc.) with 12.95% of total registration share, followed by Class 35 (Advertising, business management, etc.) taking 8.41% of the total registration shares.
- 66,440 patent applications were filed in 2021-2022 which shows increase of 13.57% over the filing figure of 58,503 last year.
- 44,7805 applications for registration of trademarks were filed and 43,1520 applications were examined. The pendency in examination has been brought down to less than a month. The number of trademark registrations and disposals during 2021-2022 increased by 2.12% and 8.11%.
- 66,440 patent applications were filed exhibiting an increase of 13.57% over last year. Domestic filing of applications has also increased to 29,508, which is 44.41% of total filing as compared to 41.58% in 2020-2021, in almost every field of inventions, like Computer Science & Electronics, Communication, Mechanical & Electrical.
- 22,699 design applications were filed showing 59.38% increase over last year. The number of design applications examined was 22120 showing an increase of 59.75%, whereas registration & disposal of design applications during 2021-2022 increased by 66.85% and 68.68%, over last year.
- 30988 copyright applications were received for registration.29,106 applications were examined, and 20,673 registrations of Copyright were done.
To sum up
The growth in filing numbers for all IPs shows vibrancy in the Indian IP environment. The recent initiatives by the government, such as ‘Make in India’ and IP facilitation for MSMEs, to focus on innovation are yielding results by an increase in domestic patent filings. The focus on IP is also reflected in India’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII), going up from 81st in 2015 to 40th in 2022 out of 132 economies. However, speedy resolution of the IP disputes has been a concern of the stakeholders considering the pendency of opposition matters at the Trademarks Registry and Patent Office and the time it takes for a final decision.
Written by Suvarna Pandey, Vanshika Oberoi and Ranjan Narula of RNA Technology and IP Attorneys.