Shorter lead time for Grant of Patent in India will bring Investment in Agriculture Sector: PHD Chamber

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22 August 2022, New Delhi: Mr. Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI, appreciated the government for launching all the dynamic initiatives and schemes in the Agriculture domain for the benefit of the farmers. The initiatives will ultimately help to achieve the vision of Prime Minister of India of a “$5 trillion Economy” by 2026-27.

India is fast developing into a knowledge-based economy and knowledge is a precious wealth of any nation. Many companies have now started investing significantly in Research and Development and are conscious of the need to protect their intellectual property, added Mr Multani

Mr N. K. Aggarwal, Chair, Agri-Business, Committee, PHDCCI, mentioned that while a lot has been done by the Office of the Controller General of Patents to reduce the pendency of applications, there is still a need to further reduce the pendency to ensure early grant of patents. 

A fixed timeline for each step from filing to grant is required to enable fast-tracking of the applications, added Mr Aggarwal.

The processing time of grant of patent in India is often stretched due to multiple pre-grant oppositions filed by “any person” and at any time u/s 25(1) before the grant of patent. One can observe a rampant misuse of the leeway provided within the provision concerning pre-grant opposition, for instance, filing of straw man oppositions just with the intention of delaying patent grant. Many applications remain undecided for years due to lengthy proceedings involved leading to an increase in patent prosecution cost so high that applicant even starts considering abandoning the patent application.

There is a pressing need to amend section 25(1) of the Act to fix the time period within which the grant of a patent can be opposed and probably to also reconsider the eligibility of the persons who can file such oppositions. A provision to charge an official fee for filing pre-grant opposition should be seriously considered to curb the misuse, said Mr Aggarwal.

The need of the hour is to bring the Indian patent law to catch up with the ever-changing industry requirements and technological development that have occurred over the years since its inception, added Mr Aggarwal.

A right step in this direction would be to do away with obsolete and irrelevant provisions in the patent act which have been de-incentivizing the patent filing in India. Doing so will certainly bring respite to the applicants from unnecessary burdensome costs and would amplify the patent filings in India.

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