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The Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2014 has come in force with effective from 28th February 2014. The major changes are the hike in official fee and an introduction of a “small entity” to which a separate (reduced) fee shall be applicable. Further, in order to promote online filing of patents, different schedule of charges is proposed for the online and offline filing whereas high official fee is proposed for offline filing as compared to the online filing. Form 28 and Form 7A are the new forms introduced in the rules. The Controller’s public notice on the same is available here.
Some of the Salient features of the amended rules:
1. A revised fee structure has been provided for filing of patent application as well as other proceedings before the Patent Office in the First as well as Fourth Schedule of the amended rules. You can have a complete look at the fee structure here
2. A third category of applicant for patent has been introduced in the form of “small entity”. The fees charged to them have been fixed and are in between the fees for natural person and legal entity. Small entity is defined as an enterprise engaged in the manufacture or production of goods, an enterprise where the investment in plant and machinery does not exceed the limit specified for a medium enterprise under Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Act, 2006.
3. A new Form 28 has been introduced. Form 28 has to accompany every new application. For subsequent documents for which a fee has been specified and for which the fee applicable for a small entity is claimed, it must be ensured that a Form-28 must be filed at least once. In case of change in status of applicant (for example when an applicant no longer remains a “small entity”), it is a duty of the applicant to inform the Patent office about such change.
4. A new Form 7A has been provided for filing “Representation Opposing Grant of Patent” (Pre-grant opposition). Earlier there was no form for filing pre-grant opposition. However, like before, no fees shall be payable for the same.
5. The amended rules provide for 10% additional fee when the applications for patent and other documents are filed through the physical mode, i.e., in hard copy format as opposed to the online mode.
6. In case an application processed by a small entity is fully or partly transferred to a person other than a natural person (except a small entity), the difference, if any, in the scale of fee(s) between the fee(s) charged from a small entity and the fee(s) chargeable from the person other than a natural person (except a small entity) in the same matter, shall be paid by the new applicant with the request for transfer.