New patent rules and status of intellectual properties in India

GS Paper III

News Excerpt:

Recently, the Patent Rules 2024 have been notified, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards fostering innovation and economic development.

About New Patent rules:

  • These rules introduce several provisions aimed at simplifying the process of obtaining and managing patents, thereby facilitating a conducive environment for inventors and creators.
  • They are expected to accelerate the nation's economic development through science and technology to fulfil the Viksit Bharat Sankalp.

What is a patent?

  • It is a statutory right to the inventor or the applicant by the government for his invention which is either a new process or product.
  • It protects intellectual property for 20 years, during which time no one else can manufacture the product. Royalties can be paid to use the product. 
    • After 20 years, technology goes into the public domain.
  • It is granted in lieu of sufficient disclosure to the patent offices.
  • It is only a territorial right.
  • A patent is not an absolute right; this is subject to certain conditions like-
    • Government Use: Importation or manufacturing by or on behalf of the government.
    • Experimental purpose; Research purpose; Teaching purpose.
    • Distribution of drugs or medicine by the government in dispensaries, hospitals or other medical institutions rendering public service or on behalf of the government.
    • Used for Foreign vessels, aircraft, and land vehicles that have temporarily or accidentally come to India.

Importance of patents:

  • Important source of scientific and technical literature
  • A treasure-house of scientific inventions
  • Avoids duplication
  • Paves way for further discoveries
  • Stop reinventing the wheel
  • Identifies emerging technologies, emerging areas 

Patent system in India:

  • The patent system in India is governed by the Patents Act, 1970 as amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 and the Patents Rules 2003. 
  • The Patent Rules are regularly amended in consonance with the changing environment, the most recent being in 2016.
  • An invention is patentable subject matter if it meets the following criteria –
    1. It should be novel.
    2. It should have inventive steps, or it must be non-obvious
    3. It should be capable of Industrial application.
    4. It should not attract the provisions of sections 3 and 4 of the Patents Act 1970.
  • All the patent applications are kept secret upto 18 months from the date of filing or priority date, whichever is earlier, and thereafter, they are published in the Official Journal of the Patent Office, which is published every week and also available on the Indian patent office (IPO) website. 
  • After its publication, the public can inspect the documents and also may take a photocopy thereof on payment of the fee as prescribed

Salient features of the new rules:

  • A unique provision for New ‘Certificate of Inventorship’ has been introduced to acknowledge the contribution of inventors in the patented invention.
  • Provision for claiming benefits of Grace period under section 31 has been streamlined by incorporating new forms, i.e., Form 31.
  • Time limit to furnish foreign application filing details in Form 8 has been changed from six months from the date of filing of application to three months from the date of issuance of the first examination report.
  • Considering the fast pace of technology, the time limit for filing request for examination has been reduced from 48 months to 31 months from the date of priority of application or from the date of filing of application, whichever is earlier.
  • Provision to extend time limit and condone delay in filing has been further simplified and made more explicit to ease in practice. Now, the time for doing any act/proceeding may be extended any number of times up to six months by a request in prescribed manner.
  • Renewal fee has been reduced by 10% if paid in advance through electronic mode for a period of at least 4 years.
  • Frequency to file the statements of working of patents in Form 27 has been reduced from once in a financial year to once in every three financial years. 
    • The provision to condone delay in filing of such statements for a period up to three months upon a request in prescribed manner has been incorporated.
  • The procedure to file and dispose the Pre-grant representation by way of opposition under section 25(1) has been further streamlined and made more explicit by providing ways to dispose of the representation and fixing fees to file such representation in order to curb benami and fraudulent pre-grant oppositions and simultaneously encouraging the genuine oppositions.

Current status of intellectual properties in India:

  • Patents: Every 6 minutes one technology is seeking IP protection in India. 
    • In 2023, an all-time high of 90300 patent applications were received. 
    • Patent office granted over one lakh Patents in the last one year (15-Mar-2023 to 14-Mar-2024). 
    • Every working day, 250 patents were granted.
  • Geographical Indications: There has been a notable surge in Geographical Indication (GI) registrations, demonstrating a threefold increase compared to the previous year. 
    • As on date, 573 GIs are registered in India. 
    • In 2023-24, 98 new GIs have been registered and another 62 will be registered by 31st March 2024. 
    • In addition, 11621 authorized users are registered, and an additional 2575 users will be registered by 31st March 2024.
  • Copyright: The fiscal year 2023-24 witnessed a record-breaking number of copyright registrations, totalling 36,378, thus underscoring the vast potential within the creative sector.
    • Measures to further promote awareness about the strategic role of copyright in the creative industry is planned.
  • Design: During the fiscal year 2023-24, the highest number of design registrations to date, totalling 27,819, were recorded, alongside final disposal of 30,450 applications. 
    • Over 1.25 lakhs students participated in Toycathon, an initiative jointly organized by J&K SCERT and Indian IP Office. 
    • 115 novel designs by J&K School students received through the event were registered.
  • Trade Marks: The Trade Marks Registry is fully committed to issue the examination report within 30 days post receiving a trademark application.  
    • The registry is offering trademark protection in the shortest possible time.
  • IP Awareness: In the last 2 years, National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPAM) has offered IP Training to 24 lakh youths, especially students and teachers and has covered over 7000 institutions.
    • The NIPAM aims to provide awareness on intellectual property and its rights to 1 million students. 
      • It aims to inculcate the spirit of creativity and innovation to students of higher education (classes 8 to 12) and ignite and inspire the students of college/Universities to innovate and protect their creations.


The new Patent Rules 2024 aims to simplify patent processes, support inventors, and enhance economic growth. With provisions like the 'Certificate of Inventorship' and streamlined grace periods, these rules bolster innovation. Reduced examination request timelines and flexible working statement filings further align the system with evolving technological needs, fostering a robust environment for intellectual property rights.

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