Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU) Raipur presented a Report titled ‘A Study of Patent Opposition System’

with data collected by Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan, a leading law firm in India

New Delhi: In a bid to streamline pre- and post-grant opposition proceedings and enable ease of doing business, Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU) Raipur, today presented a report titled, ‘A Study of Patent Opposition System’ to Mr. Anurag Jain, Secretary, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ms Shruti Singh, Joint Secretary, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The Centre for Intellectual Property, Innovation and Technology of Hidayatullah National Law University has piloted the research project on ‘A Study of the Patent Opposition System in India’. The report authored by Prof. V C Vivekanandan, Prof. Uday Shankar and Ms. Garmia Panwar with the data collected by Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan, a leading law firm in India, the study provides a detailed analysis of the delay that occurs at every stage of the pre-grant and post-grant opposition proceedings in India. It focuses on life sciences patent applications/patents in which the opposition proceedings have been ongoing between July 2016 and July 2021, to understand the recent trends in the procedure followed by the Indian Patent Office.

Elaborating on the objectives of the study, Prof. V.C. Vivekanandan (Vice Chancellor, HNLU), said, “We undertook this study with a three-fold objective. First- to comparatively analyze the various stages of filing and opposition of patents across countries including the European Union, United States, China, Japan, and India. Second- to critically analyze the challenges faced by Indian Patent Office in pre-grant opposition, and third- to study the recent trends of patent applications’ filing and opposition procedure followed by the Indian Patent Office.”

Patent prosecution in India is a long-drawn procedure. The rate of disposal and the period of pendency in India affect the rights of the applicant and may affect the ease of doing business priorities for the investors. As Malathi Lakshmikumaran (Executive Director, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys) points out, “It is an undisputable fact that patents play a significant role in innovation and thereby, economic growth. While the government in India has amended patent regulations to boost innovation, the pre and post grant opposition proceedings are tedious and often make it difficult for innovator companies to make valuable and sometimes, life-saving products reach patients. The restructuring recommended by this report will improve the patent landscape in India and make it more inventor and/or investor friendly, thereby helping in ease of doing business in India.”

Some of the recommendations highlighted in the report include, allowing pre-grant oppositions to be filed within a period of 6-12 months from the date of issuance of the first examination report (FER); immediate appointing of hearing upon receipt of a reply from the applicant; robust guidelines to ensure the efficient disposal of cases; clear guidelines to assess the opposition and notify the applicants among others.

The full report can be accessed here: https://hnlu.ac.in/academic/report-patent-opposition-system/

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