Patent agent corps moves CAT against lofty work goals: report

The All India Patent Officers’ Welfare Association (AIPOWA) has applied to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) seeking judicial intervention against the work objective high set by the CGPDTM.

According to a report by Activity area, the organization has set itself the goal of processing 360 files per year. In the US, EU, China, Brazil and Japan, the target is 100 cases per year.

The petition states that such high standards had a negative impact on the conditions of service of the association and harmed the economic interests of India. The report further stated that the matter would soon be reviewed by the CAT.

The association also alleged that the department kept the Center in the dark. In the 2021-22 Economic Study, the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser said that in 2020-21, 58,502 patent applications were filed and there were 615 examiners. The association, however, said policymakers would not know the annual work target to dispose of all pending cases.

In the Staff Inspection Unit (SIU) assessment, one examiner was warranted for 120 patent applications in 2015. However, examiners in India already process 137 applications in a year.

The petition also stated that choosing quantity over quality will harm India’s economic interests. A study commissioned by the EU in 2006 showed that an unjustified effort to increase the pace of work was counterproductive to eliminating waiting, BL report added.

In the United States, a patent examiner handles 94 applications per year. In Brazil it is 61, in the EU it is 52 and 88 and 70 respectively in China and Japan.