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Robust intellectual property system needed to boost agriculture sector growth

ANI | Updated: Aug 24, 2022 16:12 IST

New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): A robust intellectual property system that guarantees a faster processing time is the need of the hour for the Indian agriculture sector as it would help boost growth, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said.
Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI, appreciated the government for launching all the dynamic initiatives and schemes in the Agriculture domain for the benefit of the farmers and partnering jointly with the industry for inclusive development and mentioned that these initiatives will ultimately help to achieve the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a $5 trillion economy.
India is fast developing into a knowledge-based economy and knowledge is a precious wealth of any nation. Many companies have now started investing significantly in Research and Development and are conscious of the need to protect their intellectual property, said Multani.
N K Aggarwal, Chair, Agri - Business, Committee, PHDCCI, mentioned that while a lot has been done by the Indian patent office to reduce the pendency of applications, there is still a need to further reduce the pendency to ensure early grant of patents.

So, at various steps of the examination process, controllers and examiners should adhere to fixed timelines to enable fast-tracking of the applications, added Aggarwal
The processing time of grant of patent in India is often stretched due to multiple pre-grant oppositions filed by "any person" and at any time u/s 25(1) before the grant of patent. One can observe a rampant misuse of the leeway provided within the provision concerning pre-grant opposition, for instance, filing of straw man oppositions just with the intention of delaying patent grant and many applications remain undecided for years due to lengthy proceedings involved leading to an increase in patent prosecution cost so high that applicant even starts considering abandoning the patent application, said Aggarwal.
There is a pressing need to amend section 25(1) of the Act to fix the time period within which the grant of a patent can be opposed and probably to also reconsider the eligibility of the persons who can file such oppositions. A provision to charge an official fee for filing pre-grant opposition should be seriously considered to curb the misuse, he said.
The need of the hour is to bring the Indian patent law to catch up with the ever-changing industry requirements and technological development that have occurred over the years since its inception, Aggarwal said.
A right step in this direction would be to do away with obsolete and irrelevant provisions in the patent act which have been de-incentivizing the patent filing in India. Doing so will certainly bring respite to the applicants from unnecessary burdensome costs and would amplify the patent filings in India, he added. (ANI)