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Ministry of Commerce & Industry20-July, 2007 13:46 IST
|India to file application for ISA & IPEA recognition soon
KAMAL NATH LAUNCHES E-FILING OF PATENT & TRADEMARK APPLICATIONS
|Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has launched the e-filing of Patent & Trademark applications, at a function organised by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), here today. With the launch of e-filing facilities the Minister stated that applicants can file their patent and trademark applications from anywhere in the world at any time at their convenience through Internet. Payments can also be made through the Payment Gateway of authorised bankers, which would save time and money and the hassles involved in visiting and filing the applications in the offices. Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Industry and Dr. Ajay Dua, Secretary (DIPP), were also present on the occasion.
Dwelling on the future initiatives, Shri Kamal Nath said the next step is making Indian Patent Office (IPO) an International Search Authority (ISA) and an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Application for this will be filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) this month itself, he informed. Currently, there are only 12 such authorities. Recognition as ISA and IPEA will enhance the prestige of the IPO and may attract work from abroad. “India is also at an advanced stage of joining the Madrid Protocol on Trade Marks. The Bill for making the changes necessary in the Trade Mark law will be introduced in the forthcoming session of the Parliament. Madrid Protocol is a simple, facilitative and cost-effective system for registration of International Trademarks. India’s membership of the Madrid Protocol will help Indian companies to register their trade marks in the member countries of the Protocol through a single application”, the Minister further stated.
Providing details of the programme, Shri Kamal Nath informed that a major programme of modernization of the infrastructure of Intellectual Property Offices of India costing Rs.153 crore was implemented during the 10th Five Year Plan. Computerization has been one of the key components of the modernization initiatives. As part of this, facilities have been created for e-filing of Patent and Trademark applications. There are only a dozen or so countries which have e-filing facilities at present and India now gets into this elite group consisting of countries like USA, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Patent Office.
Shri Kamal Nath expressed hope that eventually the complete process of grant of patent or registration of trademarks will be on-line and the Indian Patent and Trade Mark Offices will function almost as paperless offices. This will be achieved in a time span of about two years. The modules for the e-filing and on-line processing have been developed by the National Informatics Centre. The payment gateway is currently provided by the State Bank of India.
Speaking about the legal aspects, the Minister informed that all IP legislations have been amended to make them compatible with India’s treaty obligations. Necessary safeguards have been built into the IP laws, in particular in the Patents law, for protection of public interest including public health. Along with the legislation, rules have also been amended to install a user-friendly system for processing of IP applications, Shri Nath added.
The Minister quoted from the recent observations from WIPO: “the Indian Patent Office has been dramatically transformed in recent years. New building, an effective and well supportive new IT system and an enthusiastic and well qualified staff provide the essential base for a high quality examining office”.
India had embarked on introducing a world-class Intellectual Property (IP) regime from the beginning of this century. It first updated the IP legislations on patents, trade marks, designs, etc; then revised the procedures for grant of various IP rights making them simple, transparent and user-friendly; and simultaneously updated the infrastructure. With the launching of the e-Filing facility the first phase of the modernisation drive comes to an end. This phase has seen the establishment of a balanced IP regime, which protects the rights of IP owners and safeguards public interest particularly in public health.
(Release ID :29284)