The number of patent filings by Japanese Companies in India has nearly tripled over the last decade. In 2015, Japan signed a Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in order to promote swift acquisition of IP rights in India. Further, in 2017, the Japan Patent Office and the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) of India signed an enhanced new Action Plan. As per the this new plan, both the offices shall strive to co-operate and conduct new initiatives in the field of industrial property, including an exchange program wherein follow-up of training courses for new patent examiners of the CGPDTM will be conducted and JPO officials who are experts in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) will be sent to India. It was JPO’s aim to accelerate patent examination process in India and thus result in smooth and quick grants of patents.

Recently, the two Prime Ministers of India and Japan decided to commence a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) on a pilot basis in the first half of 2019, realizing the thrust Intellectual Property protection will give to both the economies. As a direct result of this program, Japanese companies would now be able to request for expedited examinations in India through simplified procedures, based on their applications whose claims have been determined to be patentable in Japan. Also, after claims have been determined to be patentable in Japan, applicants can acquire patents swiftly and expand their business smoothly in India. Further, India will attract ample investments from Japan, especially in the field of IPR.

It is important to take note, that the PPH program will be implemented after making necessary amendments in the Patent Rules in India. Moreover, this PPH program is the first of its kind and a prelude to many more, particularly to the other big 5 jurisdictions, viz. Europe, USA, China and Korea.

Compiled by: Adv. Sachi Kapoor | Concept & Edited by: Dr. Mohan Dewan

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