By Vikrant Rana and Johny Solomon Raj
The One Hundred and Sixty Ninth (169th) Report on the Action Taken by Government on the Recommendations/ Observations of the Committee as contained in its Report on “Review of Intellectual Property Rights Regime” in India was tabled before the Rajya Sabha on April 5th, 2022.
To know more about the Action Taken Report, click here.
India- Denmark PPH
Interestingly the Department of Promotion of Internal Trade and Industry in its Report mentions about the India- Denmark PPH. It states that a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) proposal has been received from Denmark and a working group has been formed.
The DPIIT’s aforesaid response was noted in view of the Standing Committee’s recommendation that PPH “amongst nations is a mutual initiative which helps in creating a conducive environment for promoting and expediting filing of patents. It facilitates in exchanging information on norms and rules that are followed in granting patents in participating countries and thus enables the patentees and inventors to abide by the criterion of such nations while applying for patents. Also, PPH as a significant patent tool should be encouraged with nations in times of pandemic wherein the Covid-19 outbreak has led to rise in filing of innovations to grant them as patents in areas of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. The Committee, therefore, recommends the Department to explore opportunities in establishing PPH with other nations as well which would be highly advantageous to India in expediting and processing of patent applications. The Committee, however, recommends that before venturing on PPH programs with other countries, impact assessment of the Japan PPH model may be made.”
It is relevant to note here that a news published on March 25, 2022 on Danish Patent and Trademark Office’s website confirms about a strategic alliance of IP system between India- Denmark. The news states that recently some employees of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office had visited the Office of the CGPDTM.
The news further also states that “a working group was set up between DPIIT and DKPTO was set up in March 2021 to explore the possibility of a patent prosecution highway (PPH) agreement between Denmark and India.”
The DKPTO recognizes India as a potential market for exports, among other things and goes on to remark that the main objective of the various activities in India is a mutual exchange of experience, to increase the IP capacity of both partner countries. The activities also have a strong focus on green technology and transition. Efforts are being made by both countries to improve framework conditions, protect intellectual property rights and commercialize green technologies, so that we ultimately strengthen innovation, job creation and growth in green industries both in Denmark and India.
DPIIT and DKPTO- MoU
The aforesaid strategic alliance between both the economies are in furtherance of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered for Intellectual Property Co-operation between the DPIIT, India and the Denmark Patent and Trademark Office on October 08, 2020.
Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)
PPH helps in speeding up the process of examination for corresponding applications in the IP offices involved. As per the PPH programme, the participating patent offices agree that when claims in an application is allowed by the first patent office, the applicant can request for speedy examination of corresponding claims in an application that is pending in the second patent office. PPH helps in reaching the final disposition of a patent application more speedily and efficiently than the normal procedure.
Some of the benefits of PPH are:
- Reduced time and efforts to address disposal of patent applications.
- Patent application pending time is reduced.
- Enhancement of the quality of patent search and examination.
- An opportunity for Indian inventors, including MSMEs and start-ups, to have their patent applications expedited in the countries with which the programme has been enetered into.
India- Japan PPH of 2019
The Office of the CGPDTM (Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks) had entered into a Pilot PPH program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) for a period of 3 years in November, 2019 in some specified technical fields, namely, electrical, electronics, computer science, information technology, physics, civil, mechanical, textiles, automobiles and metallurgy.
The status update of PPH program as released by the DPIIT in the Action Taken Report is as under:
Status at Indian patent office:
Application received at IPO – 158
First Examination Report issued – 83
Patents Granted – 56
Abandoned – 2
Status at Japan Patent Office:
Application received at JPO – 6
Patents Granted – 3
The PPH programme between India and Denmark will certainly act as a catalyst for enhancing IPR relations between both the economies and pave the way towards a robust International IP system.