Union cabinet okays Patent Prosecution Highway programme

antitrust law, big tech, digital
The Competition Amendment Bill which will be taken up by Parliament in the ongoing Budget session will provide for steep fines on companies indulging in antitrust practices.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal for the adoption of Patent Prosecution Highway programme that will help the Indian Patent Office to cut time taken to dispose of patent applications and reduce pendency of applications.

The India Patent Office will initiate the programme with Japan Patent Office on a pilot basis initially for three years. Under the Pilot programme, the Indian Patent Office may receive patent applications only in specified technical fields such as electrical, electronics, computer science, information technology, physics, civil, mechanical, textiles, automobiles and metallurgy while its Japanese counterpart may receive applications in all technological fields. The programme may be extended to other patent offices in future as per the decision of the minister of commerce and Industry.

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The Patent Prosecution Highway involves a number of initiatives to accelerate patent prosecution procedures through information sharing. It allows member patent offices to benefit from the work done earlier by other patent offices to cut workload and improve patent quality.

India had signed an agreement with Japan in 2018 to start a pilot programme of an India-Japan Patent Prosecution Highway. This agreement was an important development in the evolution of intellectual property rights in India.

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The programme will help the Indian Patent office to:

  • Reduce time taken to dispose applications.
  • Cut pendency of applications, .
  • Improve quality of search and examination.
  • Help Indian inventors to get speedy examination of their patent applications in Japan.

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