India: Updates From The Intellectual Property Office India

Last Updated: 12 March 2015
Article by Zoya Nafis

Updates From The Intellectual Property Office India

The Intellectual Property India through the office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) keeps evolving and engaging easy and accessible techniques for better functionality. It is just the start of the year and the CGPDTM has already taken the following efforts to keep pace with the modern technology and to facilitate its working in a transparent way:

  • Another Step Taken towards Digitalization: e-filing for designs enabled

As a relief to the stakeholders and on its way towards digitalization, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks issued a public notice dated 9th march 2015 extending electronic filing of new application for registration of Designs. The e-filing facility comes with easy payment options through net banking, debit cards, ATM cards, and credit cards. The existing digital signatures of the users for Patents or Trade Marks can be used for login and authentication into the new e-filing systems of designs.

  • Comments invited for the "Draft Guidelines for Search and Examination of Patent Applications"

To overcome the need for comprehensive search and examination guidelines encompassing all areas of technology and to facilitate transparency in its working procedure, the CGPDTM on 3rd March 2015, made available the "Draft Guidelines for Search and Examination of Patent Applications". These guidelines are proposed in order to bring uniformity and consistency in patent examination for the specific fields of Science and Technology.

Some of the areas covered by these guidelines are as follows:

  • Processing of patent applications from filing to publication;
  • Overview of Patent Examination: formal and substantive examination;
  • Clarity on Patentability criterion;
  • Explanation on International Patent Classification;
  • Search Strategies;
  • Examination and Opposition Standards;
  • Before and After Grant Amendments;
  • Refusal and Grant Procedures;
  • Opposition disposal procedures

Further comments and recommendations are invited from the stakeholders for these draft guidelines and the same could be submitted to the office of the CGPDTM by 25th March 2015.

  • Design Search Utility Launched

On 27th January 2015, the CGPDTM launched the Design Application Search Utility in order to enhance transparency in its working. The notice came with a disclaimer stating ""the information under Public Search for Designs applications is dynamically retrieved and is under testing therefore the information retrieved by this system is not valid for any legal proceedings under the Designs Act, 2000. At present, the Designs applications are available for search through this utility from the year 1997 (April) onwards except for the years 2005, 2006 & 2008 which will be made available soon."

Earlier the design applications could be searched only on the basis of application number. The newly launched Search Utility allows searching by various fields like application number, date of filing, applicant's name, name of article, IDC Class, Journal Number, Publication date and Priority date.

  • Taking it further: New Patent Search System launched

In an attempt to accommodate the improvised and updated technology in its functioning, the Indian Patent Office launched a new search portal "Indian Patent Advanced Search System (InPASS)" on 27th February 2015. The new system allows full-text search in regard to both granted patents and pending applications. The public notice announcing the launch stated that the new system supports wild-card, truncation as well as Boolean operators in all the fields of the ST. 36 compliant data available with the Patent Office thereby enabling the stakeholders to conducted an advanced search in the Indian Patent Database. It allows search for granted patents and applied patents through fields like Title, Abstract, Claims, Description, Application Number, Patent number, Applicant Name, Inventor name, Inventor address, Filing office, PCT Application Number, and Field of Invention.

InPASS has succeeded the IPAIRS system, which was a free search portal launched by the Indian Patent Office in 2010. IPAIRS allowed search in regard to full specifications of Indian patents, status of the applications, and also facilitated the download of Patent Office Journal which is issued by the Indian Patent Office.

The same IPAIRS system was further updated in 2012 to IPAIRS version 2.0 in order to increase transparency in the functioning of the Indian Patent Office. New search fields were added to the database like Applicant Address, Inventor Address, PCT Application number and International classification.

However the IPAIRS system did not allow the full text search and to do away with this disability the new updated InPASS system has been launched.

Adopting the no looking back attitude, the Indian Patent Office in its public notice has also sought comments on further improvisation of the launched system.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Zoya Nafis
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