Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020 – UPSC GS3

The Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020 has diluted the disclosure format which could hamper the effectiveness of India’s compulsory licensing regime.
Significance of Indian patent regime:
  • India’s patent legislation grants an exclusive privilege of a 20-year patent monopoly to an inventor.
  • India’s patent law imposes an obligation on the patentee to commercially work the invention in India to ensure that its benefits reach the public.
  • The central idea behind granting patents itself is to ensure innovation and public interests are well balanced.
  • In an event of failing to comply by the patent rules, a compulsory licensing is issued or revocation of the patent under the Patents Act, 1970 is possible.
What are the amendments?
  • Statement with respect to the workings of the Patent has to be filed every financial year, within six months from the expiry of such financial year.
  • A single Form 27 can now be filed for multiple patents which are inter-related and all such patents are under the same patentee or licensee.
  • The amendment has eliminated the need to publicly disclose under Form 27 the nature of commercial usage of the patented inventions in the country.
Why is Form 27 important?
  • The information about the extent of the working of the invention in India is important for checking abuse of patent monopoly (e.g. excessive pricing or scare supply of the invention) and to serve the public interest.
  • This statement will help the Patent Office, potential competitors, etc. to determine whether the patentee has worked the invention in India and made it sufficiently available to the public at reasonable prices.
Why Amended?
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2015 was filed in Delhi High Court citing rampant non-filing and defective filing of Form 27 by patentees/licensees and sought a direction to the government to strictly enforce the patent working disclosure rules and take action against the violators.
Issues with recent amendments in Form 27: 
Amendments weakened Form 27 by removing the requirement of submitting important information, thus damaging the essence of the patent working requirement defies logic.
  • The form now requires the patentees and licensees to provide only the following information:
    • whether the patent has been worked or not;
    • if the invention has been worked,
    • the revenue or value accrued in India from manufacturing and importing the invention into India; and
    • if it has not been worked, reasons for the same and the steps being taken towards working.
  • They are no longer required to provide any information in respect of the quantum of the invention manufactured/imported into India, the licenses and sub-licenses granted during the year and the meeting of public requirement at a reasonable price.
  • The amendment to patent rules has considerably weakened the intellectual property regime in India.
  • The patent law obligated the patentees/licensees to disclose patent working information, to ensure that patents serve public interests and not serve the sole interests of the inventor.
  • The provision of compulsory licensing will be a casualty in the absence of disclosure information.
  • The amendment rules pave the way for patent abuse, monopoly of usage and make innovations inaccessible to people.
Scroll to Top