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Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules 2023

Patents (Amendment) Rules

Context:- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has introduced proposed changes in the form of the ‘Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules’ for public comments. These rules aim to modify and enhance the existing Patents Rules, aligning them with contemporary requirements and improving the efficiency of patent administration in India.

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The Patents Act, 1970, empowers the Central Government to formulate rules for implementing and regulating patent administration. Subsequently, the Patents Rules, 1972, were enforced, followed by the introduction of the Patents Rules, 2003, which were further amended in 2005 and 2006.
The institution implemented these amendments to comply with international obligations, such as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Key Aspects of India’s Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005:

India’s Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, facilitated product patents on food items, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, aligning with the TRIPS regime.
Notably, the Act balanced WTO requirements on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) by incorporating safeguards for public health. It allowed for compulsory licenses during public health emergencies and enabled pre-grant opposition by individuals or patient associations against dubious patent applications, especially for pharmaceuticals.

As much as 20 percent of its resources will support Indigenous-led initiatives to protect and conserve biodiversity.

Significance of TRIPS in Intellectual Property Rights:

The WTO’s Agreement on TRIPS is a comprehensive framework governing intellectual property. It plays a pivotal role in facilitating knowledge and creativity trade and resolving IP-related trade disputes. Additionally, it allows member nations flexibility in achieving their domestic policy goals. TRIPS underscores the link between IP, trade, innovation, technology transfer, and public welfare, emphasizing the need for a balanced IP system.

Major Provisions in the Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023:

  1. Variable Fee for Pre-Grant Opposition: The proposed amendments introduce a fee for Pre-Grant Opposition (PGO), which was previously free. This change may pose financial challenges for smaller entities interested in opposing patents.
  2. Reduced Timeframes: Shortening the time period for applicants to respond to notices on PGO to 2 months potentially impacts the effective preparation and submission of responses.
  3. Revised Examination Timeframe: Applicants are required to file a request for examination within 48 months from the priority date or filing date. The draft rules propose reducing this period to 31 months.
  4. Patent Agent Examination: The amendments propose clarifications on the subjects covered in the patent agent examination papers, aiming to streamline and specify the scope of examination content.
  5. The proposed amendment to Section 8 of The Patents Act, 1970 reduces the duration for providing information on corresponding foreign patent applications. Originally set at 6 months from the filing date, the amendment shortens this period to 2 months from the issuance of the first statements of objections. An extension of this timeline can be requested by filing Form-4 according to the Patent Rules.


The proposed amendments seek to streamline patent-related processes, enhance transparency, and provide more clarity to applicants. These changes, if implemented, would significantly impact various aspects of patent filing, examination, and maintenance in India.

Also Read: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

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