Currently, the benefit of expedited patents is available to startups, with over 350 companies taking advantage of the special window that was opened in May 2016 as part of the government’s flagship Start-up India scheme. Now, the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), has floated draft rules to amend the Patent Rules, 2003 and extend the facility to other groups, including Indian women as part of a policy to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. India is probably the only country to look at encouraging patent applications from women, a government official said.
The draft rules, released earlier this month, have also suggested that the window be opened to government undertaking. While no time frame has been proposed, the fastest patent application under the expedited window was granted in 81 days, data accessed by TOI showed.
Since the special facility was given to startups, close to 1,275 applications have been filed, of which 646 were filed from Chennai. Mumbai was at number 2 with 321, and Delhi was third with 268 applications. Of these, 350 applications were for expedited clearance.
In recent years, the government has sought to reduce the time taken for processing patent applications by creating more capacity in the Patents Office, besides roping in professionals from IITs to help process the proposals. Against the average time of five-seven years taken in clearing patent applications earlier, the government is looking to cut down the time to 18 months by March 2020.
the Indian Patent Office granted 13,045 patents in 2017-18, compared to 9,847 in the previous year with a bulk of the applications processed being filed by overseas companies and individuals.