The Department has taken various initiatives to expedite the process of patent applications and eliminate pendency that includes manpower augmentation from time to time, setting up of feedback mechanism and appropriate legislative amendments. These includes, modernization of the Intellectual property (IP) oﬃces with steady switchover from manual to computerized system of processing of applications, improved management of intellectual property (IP) related information, creation of stronger public interface and revamping of the routine functioning of IP oﬃces. Further, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, oﬃcers have been provided with VPN access to avoid any delay in examination process. Also, to facilitate early disposal of applications, hearing of contested cases is done through videoconferencing, thereby removing the requirement of visiting the oﬃce by the applicant.
Further, for patent oﬃce international patent classiﬁcation tool, WIPO-IPCCAT has been implemented, which helps the examiners and controllers to categorize the patents accurately and consistently into their main and sub-group levels in IPC. An appropriate classiﬁcation results in eﬀective and eﬃcient prior arts search. For trademarks, India has acceded to Treaties on International Classiﬁcation (for trademarks and designs) including Nice Agreement, Vienna Agreement, Locarno Agreement, which helps to harmonise the classiﬁcation systems for examination of trademark and design applications, in line with the classiﬁcation systems followed globally. Apart from initial induction, regular trainings are given to the technical manpower of patent oﬃce at Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Intellectual Property Management (RGNIIPM), Nagpur and foreign IP Oﬃces, to improve their skills required for speedy examination and grant/registration of IP applications
The Department regularly reviews the manpower strength of Patent Oﬃce with Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks oﬃce. In addition to the existing manpower of 936 oﬃcers, 500 additional posts in the Patent Oﬃce have been created. Further, approval for recruitment of 200 contractual manpower to assist the Patent oﬃcers in expediting the examination of application has been given.
Patent Oﬃce has adopted centralized system of allocation of patent applications in which applications are allotted to oﬃcers irrespective of geographical location. All operations in the Patent Oﬃce have been digitized. Further, comprehensive e-ﬁling system has been introduced which is available 24×7. Therefore, an applicant situated in any part of India can ﬁle his/her patent application without any requirement of visiting Patent Office.