India wants to dramatically speed up the processing time of patent applications filed by women

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  • India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is seeking amendments in Patent Rules, 2003. According to the draft rules, patent application put in by a woman developer/innovators will be prioritised over other applications to elevate women entrepreneurship across the country.
  • In fact, even if one of the members from the group aiming to file a patent is a female, the application will be accelerated for examination by Indian Patent Office.
  • At present, the process takes 5-7 years including filing an application, the publication involved, examining the patent and finally granting it to the group. But, the DIPP is planning to trim it to 18 months by March, 2020.
While companies in India struggle to strike the right gender balance, the Indian government plans to aggressively push for women entrepreneurship, making the patent process much faster.

A recent draft rolled out by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is seeking amendments in Patent Rules, 2003. It said that a patent application put in by a woman developer/innovator will be prioritised over other applications to elevate women entrepreneurship across the country.

It is not only considering patents filed by women innovators, however. In fact, according to the rules noted in the draft, even if one of the members from the group filing the patent is a female, the application will be accelerated for examination by Indian Patent Office.

Notably, there was no such provision in the country’s patent rules so far. This may be because not a lot of women entrepreneurs have sought patents.

While, according to World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) data, women account for nearly one-third of patents, globally, with the highest number of patents coming from the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry sectors, it noted. Overall, Indians account for only 17%-18% of total registrations. The country marks seventh for the patent filing office in the world.

The DIPP plans to cut down on the time incurred while examining and granting patents. To accelerate the patent granting process, the department is also looking to increase its headcount with more hirings and evolving with the growing technology.

At present, the process takes 5-7 years including filing an application, the publication involved, examining the patent and finally granting it to the group. But, the DIPP is bidding to trim it to 18 months by March, 2020.

According to stats recorded for this financial year, the country granted 13,045 patents, which is nearly 3,100 more than the last year (2016-17).

See also:
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