Draft Patent (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024 : Key Highlights

Introduction: The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has unveiled Draft Patents (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024, aimed at further refining and streamlining the existing Patents Rules, 2003. Our team of patent attorneys, patent lawyers, patent agents and experts at JusIP are of the view that these proposed changes, inter alia, empower the Adjudicating Officer and introduce a streamlined adjudication process for penalties related to patent contraventions.

These rules shall be known as the draft Patents (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024, and will come into effect on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

New Definitions: The Draft Rules introduce new definitions crucial for understanding the adjudication process. Terms like “Adjudicating Officer”, “Appellant” and “Appellate Authority” are clearly defined, setting the stage for a comprehensive understanding of subsequent provisions.

Adjudication of Certain Penalties: The significant addition of Chapter XIVA establishes the framework for adjudication of penalties. It empowers individuals to file complaints regarding contraventions or defaults under specific sections of the Patents Act, 1970. Further, the existing penalties for violation of Sections 120, 122 and 123 also stand revised; in consonance with the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Act, 2023 which was brought into effect last year to decriminalise certain offences. However, the amended provisions relating to Patents Act in this regard, are yet to be brought in effect.

Appointment of Adjudicating Officer: The Draft Rules elaborate on the appointment of the Adjudicating Officer, detailing the process and powers conferred upon them. Provisions for the random allocation of complaints and the Adjudicating Officer’s powers akin to a civil court are also defined vide the Draft Rules.

Summary Proceedings: The Draft Rules introduce summary proceedings, outlining the procedures when a prima facie case is and is not established. It details the issuance of notices, written submissions, and the manner of holding inquiries, ensuring a fair and efficient adjudication process.

Extension of Time Period: Provisions for the extension of the time period are included, with conditions and costs specified. This aims to address situations where a party needs additional time for responding to notices.

Form and Manner of Preferring Appeal: The Draft Rules lay out the process for filing appeals, including the form, grounds, and the prescribed fee. It introduces a systematic approach to the appeal process, ensuring clarity and adherence to regulations.

Registration and Disposal of Appeal: The registration and disposal of appeals are detailed, emphasizing timelines, the role of the Appellate Authority, and the communication of reasoned orders to involved parties.

Forms and Schedules: The Draft Rules introduce new forms for complaints, appeals, and opposition, streamlining the documentation process. Additionally, changes in the Schedules reflect updated entry numbers and forms.

Conclusion: The proposed amendments to the existing Patents Rules, 2003 aim to enhance the adjudication process, introducing clarity and efficiency. These changes focus on empowering stakeholders, establishing clear procedures while also providing a structured framework for addressing contraventions or defaults in patent-related matters.

DPIIT has also recently issued the Draft Trade Marks (1st Amendment) Rules, 2024 and draft Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) (2nd Amendment) Rules, 2024 to the existing rules primarily catering to streamlining of adjudication process and disposals of pending matters vide the draft Rules, which are covered separately by our team at JusIP.

Related Posts