The Ministry of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade notified the Patents (Amendments) Rules 2021 (Patent Amendment) which have come into force on 21 September 2021.
The definition of educational institutions has been introduced under the Patent Amendment. The Patent Amendment includes educational institution along with natural person, start-up and small entity in the category of applicants.
An educational institution has been defined as …“a university established or incorporated by or under Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State Act, and includes any other educational institution as recognised by an authority designated by the Central Government or the State Government or the Union territories in this regard;”.
The educational institution category can be claimed by filing supporting documentary evidence to this effect. Though, the nature of documentary evidence has not been specified it may be inferred that the recognition under a statute or any other document issued by the Central / State Government may be submitted as documentary evidence.
The Government of India by a press release dated 23 September 2021 has extended the 80% rebate on patent filing fees to educational institutions. This should encourage educational institutions to file for more patents to foster innovation and facilitate the commercialisation of new technologies.
Inclusion of educational institutions as applicants of patents creates an encouraging environment for institutions, professors, and students to patent their research.
IIT Madras is one of the few educational institutions that has filed over 500 patent applications in India followed by the Chandigarh University which has filed over 336 patents .
A handful of universities in the country like the IITs make up for most of the patents filed in India and abroad, evidencing the welcome change in law to further development.
Educational institutions are booming and ed tech has seen a large impetus due to the pandemic. The number of patents filed in this sector, however, are still at a nascent stage. We hope that the Patent Amendment has a positive impact the on innovation in the sector by encouraging the filing of more patents in India.