How to Become a Registered Patent Agent in India

Protecting one's rights over one's intellectual property is important and to this effect organisations and individuals file for patents for their inventions. The process of obtaining a patent can be long drawn, with a lot of technicalities involved. This is where registered patent agents can be of help. patent agents are registered with the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks. Registration procedures to become a patent agent are explained below.

Patent agents are skilled experts who are entitled to prosecute a patent, which in simple term implies that they are qualified to draft and file patent applications on behalf of their clients, the applicant, looking to patent a product. Patent agents are registered with the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Patent Agents perform the duty of preparing relevant documents and transact all business and discharge every other duty in relation to the proceedings before the Controller.

Why a patent agent is required

Under the Indian Patents Act, 1970 an applicant is entitled to draft, file and prosecute the patent application. The Act also has provision for any advocate or a patent agent, to partake in the proceedings before the Controller, as a representative of the client/applicant in all proceedings under the Act. Since the proceedings are elaborate and complex in nature and require expert handling, applicants prefer the service of patent agents. This is where patent agents provide the needed expertise. They –

  • Draft the patent specification
  • Follow up all communication with the patent office
  • Respond to objections raised by the office
  • Participate in hearings, file oppositions and defend the application

However, applicants must compulsorily submit a form for authorisation of patent agent, as prescribed under The Patents Act, 1970.

What does the job of a patent agent entail

According to the Indian Patents Act, a patent agent is permitted to –

  • Patent Agents get ready relevant documents and transact all business and discharge all duties connected to the proceedings before the Controller
  • They apply for and/or get patents for their clients, within the country and overseas as well
  • Get ready specifications and other papers for the patent
  • Advise their client on the validity and infringements of patents

Qualified patent agents can ensure all this happens smoothly, without a hitch. Patent agents are expected to exhibit a high standard of competency and professional integrity. Institutions engaged in research and developments engage their services to obtain a patent for their inventions and secure their interests in India and overseas.

Qualification requirement for Indian Patent Agent

To qualify to become a patent agent in India individuals must meet the following requirements -

  • The eligibility criteria requires that the patent agent is an Indian citizen
  • The individual must be 21years or above
  • A degree in science, technology or engineering (or any other qualification as specified) from a recognised university is also a prerequisite
  • The individual should have qualified the prescribed examination (details of which are provided below) or have minimum 10years experience as an examiner or as Controller or both, or but is no longer serving in those capacities

All about Indian Patent Agent examination

Individuals who meet the primary requirement must qualify the Patent Agent Examination conducted by the India Patent Office. Aspirants must also watch the official website of the Patent Office for the announcement of the examination. The aspirant must submit the following along with a written application addressed to the Controller –

  • A fee of Rs.1,000
  • A copy of age proof (attested by a gazetted officer)
  • Copy of degree certificate in either engineering, science or technology (attested by a gazetted officer)
  • A character certificate signed by a gazetted officer
  • Two passport sized photographs (self attested)
  • Two copies of specimen signature on separate sheets

The examination is split into two parts, a written examination and a viva-voce. The written examination if further split into two papers – paper 1 and paper 2. The first paper is of 100 marks and consists of true or false, fill in the blanks and short answers. The syllabus for this paper is Patents Act and Rules.

The second paper involves case studies, and the aspirant has to draft a patent specification, based on the details provided in the paper.

To qualify in the examination the aspirant has to score a minimum of 50% in both the papers while totalling an aggregate of 60%.

Registration process

Qualifying the patent agent examination is the first step towards becoming a patent agent in India. The second step involves getting oneself registered. Registration enables patent agents to practice before the Controller.

To be registered as a patent agent submit this registration form duly completed and signed to the Controller, along with a fee of Rs.2,000.

The Controller receives the application along with the fee and makes and enters the aspirant's name in the Register of Patent Agents. A certificate is then presented to the aspirant, who si then authorised to practice before the Controller.

The registration is valid for a year, and the patent agent has to pay a fee, every year, for the name to remain in the Register of Patent Agents.

Expulsion of patent agent from the register

Expulsion or removal of name can happen in the following scenarios –

  • If the details furnished by the patent agent are incorrect or when all the material facts are nor presented or presented speciously
  • If the patent agent is sentenced to imprisonment on conviction of an offence
  • If the individual shows professional misconduct in his professional dealings
  • If the registration fee is unpaid
  • On the demise of the patent agent

Anyone who meets the above mentioned requirements can become a registered patent agent and practice anywhere in India on behalf of clients.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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