How the patent scenario has evolved in India post National IPR policy 2016 and how Universities are responding to it?
The National IPR policy 2016 has introduced significant changes. The policy has also aided in bringing the structural reforms in the arena of patent administration.
Patent administration in the post National policy era:
- The grants rates at the Patent Office in 2017-2018 have increased with an increase of 32% in the number of patents granted compared to the earlier year.
- The patent office has increased its capacity with the inclusion of 459 new examiners.
- To fasten the process the timeline for filing responses to official objections for patents has been reduced by half.
- The disposal rate has increased.
Universities and new patents:
The following initiatives have been undertaken to increase the IP awareness at the university level
- The University Grants Commission (UGC) has now asked all universities in India to set up Intellectual Property (IP) Centres.
- The National Assessment and Accreditation Council, awarding up to 24 points to an institute which sets up an innovation ecosystem and has a facility for identifying and promoting IPRs
- The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) model curriculum lays emphasis on the need for IPR education in technical institutes.
Roadblocks in building robust IP environment in universities:
- The efforts to have more IP centres are facing a roadblock of not having enough IP professionals.
- There are only about 2,000 registered patent agents currently in practice.
- The patent agent exams are not conducted frequently.
- The number of people appearing for the exam is abysmally low when compared with the number of personnel required to attain the objectives under the new IPR policy 2016.
The ambitious goal set by India’s IPR Policy will be realised only when the country has good number of Patent officers. This prime requisite has to be addressed with due attention.