India, Japan resolve to expedite bilateral patents procedure

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-21 20:45:54|Editor: xuxin
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NEW DELHI, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- India has decided to enter into a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme with Japan which would expedite granting of patents in India, leading to more investments from Japanese companies, said sources in India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.

A joint statement of intent (JSOI) to this effect was signed between the two sides in New Delhi Thursday.

As per the PPH, Japanese inventors seeking patent protection in India will be able to take the benefits of expedited examination in India under the pilot programme on PPH.

"Faster grant of patents in India will result in more inbound investments by companies and also introduction of newer technologies thereby giving fillip to Indian Government's flagship programme 'Make in India', and increasing employment opportunities. It will also help Indian startups in patenting in Japan," said an official statement issued by the ministry.

The programme will initially commence between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Indian Patent Office (IPO) on pilot basis for a period of three years.

Under this pilot programme, the IPO may receive patent applications in certain specified technical fields only, like electrical, electronics, computer science, information technology, physics, civil, mechanical, textiles, automobiles and metallurgy. And, the JPO may receive applications in all fields of technology.

The PPH will lead to benefits like reduction in disposal time and pendency of patent applications, consistency in quality of granted patents and an opportunity for Indian inventors, including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups of India to get accelerated examination of their patent applications in Japan.

According to an official statement, during 2014-15, around 6000 patents were granted and about 15,000 patent applications were disposed. This figure has increased to more than 15,000 patents grants and about 51,000 disposal of patent applications in during 2018-19, and is likely to reach about 25,000 grants and 60,000 disposals during the current financial year, i.e. 2019-20.

The examination time of a patent application in 2014-15 was around 72 months, which has already been reduced to less than 36 months at present, and is targeted to further reduce to 12-16 months by March 2021.

In case of expedited examination, the swiftest grant of a patent has been in 67 days from request for examination, said the official statement.