Nearly 79,000 Patent Applications Still Pending with Government

Date:   Tuesday , August 31, 2010

It might be shocking but one ought to believe it. About 79,000 applications seeking grant of patents is still pending to be sanctioned by the government in India. Nearly, one third of the applications are from mechanical engineering and chemicals segment.

As on 30th June, 2010, 78,792 patent applications were pending with the Indian Patent Office and the reason for the steep number of requests stated by Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma was the considerable amount of increase in the number of patent applications filed with the office after 2003-04. “In order to dispose of the pending requests for examination, the government has created 200 new posts of Examiners of patents and designs”, says Sharma.

In exact figures, 14,314 patent applications are pending in the mechanical engineering segment followed by chemicals segment (11,633), electronics (8,192), communication (6,507) and pharmaceuticals (6,322). The Indian Parliament was informed about this state of patent application on 3rd July, 2010. It is hoped that the pace of patent prosecution will improve tremendously with more number of examiners available to examine the applications but only time will tell how successfully the government deals with this situation.

Over the past year, India had signed agreements with the European Patent Office (EPO) and patent offices in the U.S. and UK, hoping patent examiners would make use of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) to avoid issuing patents on claims already present in traditional knowledge. The humongous figure of pending patent application reveals that such agreement has hardly been of any use to Indian industries.