In the question hour of Lok Sabha on August 6, 2018 the focus was shifted on the pendency of the Patent Applications with the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM). The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu was questioned on the same.
The queries raised was regarding the statistics of the Patent and Trademark pending application and the reason for rapid increase in the number of pending patent applications. To which Hon’ble Minister replied that the patent pendency is measured in terms of pending requests for examination after the request is filed. Giving numbers he showed that the pendency of patent applications at examination stage has reduced from 2,04,177 as on March 2017 to 1,55,438 as on June 2018. Similarly, for trademarks, 4,54,833 applications are pending at various stages of disposal, out of which 42,304 are pending at the examination stage.
Further, the Hon’ble Minister was questioned about the proposed action plan to develop infrastructure in all patent offices in the country and other steps proposed to be taken by the Government so as to deal with the mounting number of patent and registration applications. The Hon’ble Minister in his reply highlighted the steps taken by the Government to reduce the pendency. Some of the steps mentioned were:
- That the issue of lack of technical manpower for examination and disposal of patent applications was addressed by increasing the available manpower through creation of new posts.
- Recruitment of 459 posts of Examiners of Patents and Designs.
- Sanctioning of 84 new posts of Examiners and 95 posts of Controllers.
- 2016 Amendment of Patent Rules to simplify procedures for disposal of patent applications.
- Updation of the website of Indian Intellectual Property Office to make it more interactive, informative, user-friendly and transparent.
- The steps, like enablement of computerised work-flow, automation and IT, taken in order to facilitate the examination work and optimize the speed and quality of examination were also highlighted.