The Intellectual Property Law is an emerging field in the field of legal practice and is gaining massive acceptance among practicing and budding lawyers. Apart from being profitable, Intellectual Property law provides a varied range of career prospects. Hence, nowadays, the lawyers are more towards being a Patent Agent and provide legal advice to people prospering to get a Patent registered in India. In the article, we will discuss the procedure followed for the Registration of Patent Agent in India.
Who is a Patent Agent?
Chapter XXI of the Patent Act, 1970, along with the Patent Rules, 2003, provides for the provisions related to Patent Agent. Section 2(n) of the Patent Act, 1970, defines a Patent Agent. The Section states that a person who is registered under the Patent Act, 1970, is a Patent Agent. The definition under the Patent Act, 1970, basically defines that who is a Patent Agent, in order to understand the meaning of Patent Agent term in simple words, the term can be defined as a person who files the application of Patent. The whole process in the preparation of an application of Patent is taken care of by the patent Agent. In simple words that the Patent Agent helps in the preparation of the documents related to Patent, which includes drafting, filing, and prosecution of the application before the Controller on behalf of the person who wishes to obtain a Patent.
The Patent Agent is required to be registered for practicing as per Patent Rules, 2003. The Patent Agent is required to submit an application for Registration as a Patent Agent in Form 22 before the Indian Patent Office. After the acceptance of the application by the Indian Patent Office, the details of the registered Patent Agent should be added into the Register of Patent Agent, which is maintained by the Controller. The Register of Patent Agent should include all the details of the registered Patent Agent, which consists of the name, address, and other important particulars related to the Patent Agent.
What Qualifications are required for Registration as a Patent Agent?
Section 126 of the Patent Act, 1970, provides for the criteria for a person to qualify to get Registration of Patent Agent. The qualifications required to be registered as Patent Agent are as follows:
- The person should be a citizen of India;
- The person should have completed 21 years of age;
- The person should have completed a degree in either Engineering, Science, Technology from any University established under the law for the time being in force in the territory of country India or should hold such other corresponding qualifications as specified by the Central Government of India. The final year students can also apply for Registration of Patent Agent as long as the person applying is able to produce the certificate of the degree with all the marks within 2 months from the date of announcement of the results of examination for Patent Agent.
- The person applying for Registration should have paid the prescribed fees;
- The person has either passed the qualification exam for the purpose or has functioned as an examiner or has discharged the functions of the Controller as per Section 73 of the Patent Act, 1970, or both. The time period required for such qualification should not be less than 10 years, provided the person applying for Registration should have ceased to hold any such capacity at the time of making the application of Registration.
What is the Procedure for Registration of Patent Agent?
Under the Patent Rules, 2003, Rule 109, Rule 110, and Rule 111 provides for the procedure for Registration of Patent Agent. The procedure for Registration of Patent Agent is as follows:
Application for Examination
- A person shall make a request to the Controller and pay the requisite fee as provided in the First Schedule, as per which the intention of the person to apply online or offline. After making the payment, the details of the payment should be provided to the Controller, in order to appear for the qualifying examination of Patent Agent.
- The person should make the request in the form of a letter addressing the Controller and should be submitted at the nearest Patent Office along with all other required documents. The documents such as citizenship Proof, Age Proof, Character Certificate along with Self-attested copy of Proof of Degree as per section 126(1)(c) of the Patent Act, 1970, should be provided. Any further details regarding the request letter is provided on the official website. The fees prescribed for the examination should be paid only after the announcement of the examination on the website of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India. The fees should be paid within the period specified in the announcement on the official website. No restriction is there regarding the number of times a person can apply for the examination. Hence, it can be said that the person can apply as many times as he/she wishes.
Particulars of Examination
- The person meeting the qualification provided under Section 126 of the Patent Act, 1970, should apply for the examination of Patent Agent. The applicant is required to select the center of his/her suitability to write the examination of Patent Agent. The Patent Agent examination is generally conducted in 5 cities which are, Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Kolkata, and Chennai. The Indian Patent Agent examination is held once in each year. The examination shall consist of the following particulars:
- A written test should be conducted, which will be considered as the qualifying exam. The written test should be conducted by the Office of the Controller. The written test should comprise of Paper I and Paper II for 100 marks each. The Paper I should have both Objective and Descriptive type of question. The Paper I should be based on the Patent Act and Patent Rules, while Paper-II should be more practical in nature relating to the drafting, interpretation of specifications of Patent, and other related descriptive questions. A candidate should score a minimum of 50 marks in each, Paper I and Paper II, to pass the examination of Patent Agent. The person applying for examination of Patent Agent should be thorough with the acts, rules, practice, and procedures related to patenting to qualify for the examination.
- After the written test, a viva voice should be conducted for 50 marks. The questions in viva voice, which are generally asked, should be based on the knowledge about the field. The person to qualify as a Patent Agent he/she should secure an overall 60% aggregate of the total marks.
The result of the examination of Patent Agent is usually announced after two months after the examination. The results of the examination of Patent Agent are announced on the official website of the Office of Controller General of Patents.
- The person is required to submit a Form 22 application as provided under the Patent Rules, 2003. The person should furnish with the application of Registration any other relevant information as required by the Controller. After a person has cleared the examination of patent Agent and furnishing any other relevant and necessary details required by the Controller, the person should pay the necessary fees to the Controller. After the payment of prescribed fees, the Controller, upon verifying all the submissions made by the person, should enter the name of the candidate in the Register of Patent Agents. After entering the name, the Controller should issue a Certificate of Registration as a Patent Agent to the candidate. The Certificate of Registration of Patent Agent issued is valid only within the territory of India.
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What are the requirements of Register of Patent Agents?
The Controller is required to maintain a Register of Patent Agents in accordance with Section 125 of the Patent Act, 1970, read with Rule 108 of the Patent Rules, 2003. The particulars which are to be contained in the Register of Patent Agents are as follows:
- The name of the person registered as Patent Agent;
- The Nationality of the person registered as Patent Agent;
- The Address of the principal place of business and the addresses of branch offices of the person registered as Patent Agent;
- The qualification and the date of Registration of every registered Patent Agent;
- The Details of the Renewal of Registration of Patent Agent and any other particulars which the Controller considers fit and required to be included in the Register of Patent Agents. The fee should be paid by the Patent Agent at the end of every financial year to continue with the Registration of Patent Agent. The date to pay fee for continuation of the Registration of Patent Agent is generally considered from the date of Registration as a Patent Agent. The Registration of Patent Agent should be renewed every year after the first Registration. The fees for continuation of Registration for the next 1 year can also be paid at the time of the first Registration of Patent Agent. On the official website, a notification should be issued every year to provide the details of the mode for the payment of the fees and any other details as required. The helpline number in case of any query with regard to payment of fees for the continuation of Registration should also be provided on the official website.
- The Specimen of signatures and photographs of the persons registered as Patent Agents;
Furthermore, a copy of the Register of Patent Agents should be maintained in every Branch Office. The details of the Patent Agents can also be maintained by the Controller in computer diskettes, floppies, or any other electronic form. The details maintained in computer diskettes, floppies, or in electronic form are subject to safeguards as may be prescribed in this regard. The details maintained should be accessed only by the person duly authorized by the Controller, and no entry or modification of any entry or rectification of any entry in the Register of Patent Agent should be made by any person who is not authorized by the Controller.
What is the Role of Patent Agent after Registration as a Patent Agent?
As per Section 127 and read with Section 129 of the Patent Act, 1970, every Patent Agent whose name is entered in the Register of Patent Agents is eligible for the following rights:
- The person can practice before the Controller for:
- Obtaining or applying for Patents in India or elsewhere;
- Preparation of specifications or any other documents required by the Patent Act, 1970, or required by Patent Law of any other country;
- Giving guidance other than of technical or scientific nature regarding the validity of Patents or Patent Infringement;
- The person is required to prepare all the documents related to Patent, manage all business and discharge any other function as prescribed under the provisions of the Patent Act, 1970, in regard to, any proceeding before the Controller.
There are primarily two restrictions imposed on a Patent Agent under Section 129 of the Patent Act, 1970 on a patent agent. The restrictions on the Patent Agent are as follows:
- The person should not without registering himself/herself as a Patent Agent, that is unless the person himself/herself and all of his/her partners are so registered as Patent Agent, should not either alone or in any partnership with any other Patent Agent or practicing person, hold or describe himself/herself to be a Patent Agent or permit himself/herself to be held out or described so as a Patent Agent.
- No Company or any other body corporate should practice, describe itself or hold itself out as a registered Patent Agent or permit itself to be described or held out as a Patent Agent.
Furthermore, as per Rule 123 of the Patent Rules, 2003, if any person or a company contravenes the provisions prescribed under Section 129 of the Patent Act, 1970, the person or the company should be punishable with fine which can be extended to 1 lakh Rupees in case of the first offense and 5 lakh Rupees in case of the second offense.
What are the grounds for Disqualifications for Registration of Patent Agent?
The Patent Rules under Rule 114 provides for the grounds of disqualification for Registration of Patent Agent in India. The disqualifications are as follows:
- The person is declared of unsound mind by a competent court;
- The person is an undischarged insolvent;
- The person is convicted by any court within India or outside India should undergo an imprisonment for a term, unless the person is pardoned for the committed offense or unless on an application made by the person to the Central Government has removed the disability by passing an order in the behalf;
- Being a discharged insolvent, the person has not obtained a certificate to the effect that the insolvency was caused by misfortune and there was no misconduct from his part;
- The person being a legal practitioner has been found guilty of some professional misconduct;
- The person being a Chartered Accountant (CA) has been found guilty of some misconduct or negligence;
With the speedy growth in science and technology, being a Patent Agent is undoubtedly a valuable career option and is definitely worth a thought. The Patent Agent is nowadays required by the people who think for Registration of Patent in India. The Registration of Patent Agent is a long-lasting and lengthy process. We at Corpbiz have experienced professionals to assist you with the process of Registration of Patent Agent. Our professionals will guide and help you with the Registration process. Our professionals will ensure the successful and timely completion of your work.
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