Since the inception of facilities by the Indian Patent Office in 2016, as many as 120 start-ups have been granted patents under the expedited examination process. Various technological improvements are brought in use like Artificial Intelligence for the examination of IP applications.
As an effort by the Indian Patent office to be at par with the Global standards for granting patent, the patent rules were amended in 2016 to introduce the provision of expedited examination for an applicant who has indicated India as a competent International Searching Authority or International Patent Examination Authority or the applicant is a start-up.
Rule 24C of the Patent Rules, 2003 makes provision towards filing a request for expedited examination so as to accelerate the examination of the patent application. Such applications shall be examined sooner than the applications as compared to the normal examinations.
The following types of applicants will qualify to avail expedited examination.
The patent applicant is a start-up
The patent applicant was a start-up at the time of filing the patent application
The patent applicant has chosen India as an International Searching Authority (ISA) or as an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) in a corresponding PCT application.
A normal request for examination (done under Rule 24B) can be converted to one for expedited examination by paying the relevant fees and submitting the documents.
However, the option for the expedited examination is available only to start ups and applicants who nominate the IPO as its ISA or IPEA in the international PCT application. While the IPO has definitely made and is making all its efforts in expediting the process for such applications, it is to be seen if the miracle of granting a patent in short timelines can become an ongoing reality.