This article on ‘How to get Registered as a Patent Agent in India‘ was written by Shruti Korgaonkar, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
The subject of intellectual property law (IP) is expanding rapidly. We are seeing a paradigm shift where businesses are shifting their focus from purchasing physical assets like land and machines to acquiring intellectual assets. Startups and R&D facilities, which are nothing more than intellectual inventions, are proliferating in India. The goal of intellectual property law is to safeguard your intellectual property and allow you to profit from it. People defend their creations. They require an additional group of individuals to deal with this universal human inclination. Let’s discuss in-depth Patent Agents and its qualification.
Patent Agent in India
A person who is registered as a patent agent according to Section 2(n) of the India Patent Act, 1970 is referred to as a patent agent. Who qualifies as a patent agent is defined under the statute. In simple words, the definition implies”a person who files the patent application.” The patent agent is in charge of the procedure involved in putting together a patent application. In other words, he assists anybody seeking a patent with the document preparation process, including the drafting, submission, and prosecution of an application before the controller.
According to the 2003 Patent Rules, a Patent Agent is required to be registered for practicing. Before the Indian Patent Office, the patent agent must file a Form 22 application for registration as a patent agent. The information of the registered Patent Agent should be added to the Register of Patent Agents, which is kept by the Controller, following the Indian Patent Office’s approval of the application. All of the registered patent agent’s information, including name, address, and other crucial facts, should be included in the Register of Patent Agents.
Who is Qualified to Become a Patent Agent Patent Agent in India?
Criteria mentioned in Section 126 of the said act shall be met to be registered as a Patent Agent in India. The qualification required is as follows:
- He should be a citizen of India;
- Should have completed 21 years of age;
- He must have earned a degree in Science, Engineering, or Technology from a university recognized by law as being currently in effect in the Indian subcontinent, or hold other equivalent credentials as determined by the Central Government. Final-year students are also eligible to apply as long as they can provide their degree certificate and complete mark sheet within two months of the announcement of the patent agent examination.
- He must have paid the required fees.
- He must have completed the required qualifying examination, passed it, and either served as an examiner, carried out the Controller’s duties under Section 73, or both, for a total of at least 10 years. However, he must no longer hold any such position at the time the registration application is submitted.
Prior to the act’s 2005 amendment, a person was required to have a degree in law in addition to a specific degree in one of the fields listed under clause (c). Through the amendment of 2005, this requirement was eliminated.
The procedure for registration
Step 1: Application for examination for registration
A person who wants to register as a patent agent in India must ask the Controller to appear for the qualifying examination, according to Rule 109 of the Patents Rules, 2003. The applicant must write a letter to the closest patent office with this request made in it and address it to the Controller. The letter must be provided with the necessary paperwork, including citizenship and age proofs, in accordance with Section 126(1)(c) of the Patents Act of 1970
After paying the required fee as specified in the First Schedule, the requests must be made. The Government of India’s official website specifies the timeframe for making such payments. The Controller must receive the registration together with the payment information. Also, there is no restriction on how many times a person can apply for the qualification of the examination.
Step-2 Passing the qualifying examination
For the qualifying examination, a candidate must meet the requirements outlined in Section 126 of the Patents Act of 1970.
The qualifying examination’s specifics are listed in Rule 110 of the Patents Rules, 2003, and are as follows:
The office of the Controller administers a written test that consists of two papers at 100 points each. The questions on Paper-I concern the patent legislation and its regulations.
Questions about the development and interpretation of patent specifications and other related papers are included in Paper II.
A viva, which carries 50 marks, is held to assess the applicant’s practical expertise.
The candidate must receive a minimum of fifty points on the written test and a combined total of 60 percent of the possible points in order to pass the qualifying examination.
Once a year, the Indian Patent Examination is held. Two months prior to the scheduled exam date, candidates get notified of the exam. Results of the qualifying examination are released on the official website developed by the Indian government.
Step 3: The controller registers patent agents
In accordance with Rule 111 of the Patents Rules, 2003, the Controller enters the applicant’s name in the register of Patent Agents and issues a certificate of registration to him after the application has been submitted to the Controller office in the prescribed format and the applicant has successfully completed the qualifying examination and has the credentials required by Rule 110. Only the territory of India is the scope of the registration certificate’s applicability.
Register of Patent Agent in India
In line with Section 125 of the Act and Rule 108 of the Rules, the Controller is responsible for maintaining the register of Patent agents. The information that must be recorded in the register includes:
- Address of the main office and the locations of any branch offices.
- Each patent agent’s credentials and the time of their registration.
- Any further information that the Controller thinks necessary and appropriate, including information about their registration renewal, must be provided. To maintain registration, the fee must be paid at the conclusion of each fiscal year. Generally speaking, the date of the fee for the continuation is calculated from the date of registration as a patent agent. Every year, a notice is published on the official website outlining the method of paying the required fees as well as other information, such as the hotline number to call in the event of payment errors or other procedural concerns. After the first registration, the registration is renewed annually. However, the fees for continuation can be paid at the time of registration.
- Specimen signatures and photographs of the individuals listed as patent agents.
- Furthermore, each branch office must retain a copy of the Register of Patent Agents. Additionally, subject to any applicable precautions that may be mandated in this respect, the Controller may retain such facts on computer floppies, diskettes, or in any other electronic format. That is, only those who have been properly allowed by the Controller may access it, and anybody who has not received such authorization from the Controller is not permitted to make any entries, changes to any entries, or corrections to any entries in the said register.
Patent agents in India are in high demand as the field of intellectual property law develops. Since they have the necessary knowledge and experience in that area, those who want to get a patent registration frequently engage a patent agent. To practice as a patent agent in India, one must register in accordance with the legal requirements. Although drawn out, the registration process for patent agents is straightforward. Anyone in India with the necessary credentials can work as a patent agent.
- Aishwarya SM and Sangini Nagpal, “What do patent agents do and how can you become a patent agent in India?”, iPleaders Blog, 7 November 2019, available at: https://blog.ipleaders.in/patent-agents-become-patent-agent-india/
- Tripti Khiwal, “Procedure for Registration of Patent Agents in India”, Biz Advisor, 17 December 2021, available at: https://www.bizadvisors.io/learning/procedure-for-registration-of-patent-agents-in-india/