On August 30, the office of the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks (CGPDTM) released a public notice inviting comments from stakeholders to revamp the Patents, Designs, Trademarks, GI and Copyright Manuals and Guidelines.
The role of these manuals and guidelines is paramount as they help in implementing the provisions of the Statutes and Rules in a more streamlined manner by the officers and give an insight into the functioning of the office. Interestingly, the issue of revising the Patent Manual was recently raised by the Delhi High Court in AGFA v. Asst. Controller of Patents, where the court specifically asserted the need to revise the Patent Manual. But apart from the Patent Manual (revised in 2019), the other manuals require attention as well and substantive time has passed since they were introduced with little to no revision. Looking at the versions available on the IPIndia website, the “draft” Trademark Manual was introduced in 2015 and the website does not clearly state if there is another “final” version. Similarly, substantive time has passed since the introduction of different Copyright Manuals (2018) with no information on their update. There is no date of introduction or revision on the Design Manual but considering that it was introduced by the then Controller General P H Kurien, who served in this position till 2012, it is safe to assume that the Manual was introduced before 2012. Lastly, the GI Manual, was last updated in 2011.
It is pertinent to note that the public notice comes only days after the publication of the draft Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2023 by the DPIIT which inter alia will revise the different timelines for patent prosecution. Earlier this year, a plan to amend the Patent Act was announced by the Commerce Minister and it looks like these efforts are perhaps the first step to include public participation in the process.
The last date to file comments/ suggestions on the Draft Patent (Amendment) Rules is September 22, 2023, and October 15, 2023, for comments/ suggestions on the Manuals and Guidelines.
The relevant links are given below: –
Public notice inviting comments on the Manuals and Guidelines
Draft Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2023
Patent Amendment Rules as amended till 2021
Draft Trademark Manual
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