IPO to Stop Paper Communication, to Introduce QR codes for Filing Receipts

The Indian Patent Office (IPO) issued a circular which covered two aspects:

A. The IPO will look to phase out sending application filing receipts to the agent on record/applicant using post (snail mail). They will be sending the receipts to the agent/applicant using email immediately. The IPO also plans to send the receipts to the applicant/agent via SMS, in the near future.

To enable this, the IPO has requested the applicant/agent to provide the email address and mobile number at the time of the filing, so as to facilitate the sending of receipts to the applicant/agent.

While the circular seems to be pertaining only to filing receipts, a mention has been made in only one place regarding the sending of office actions (examination reports) to the applicant/agent at their email address. This may indicate that the IPO plans to phase out sending all communication regarding an application to the applicant/agent via post and rely only on email and SMS for the same.

B. The IPO also plans to introduce a QR (Quick Response) code on the filing receipts. The QR code will enable the applicant/agent to verify the receipt.

However, there has been no mention of the contents of the QR code. On a mere guess, we can suppose that the details of the application such as the application number, filing date and time, applicant and inventors details may be encoded into the QR code. Also, there is no mention if the QR code will be present on filing receipts which are generated for applications that are filed online.

This is a welcome move by the IPO, as it introduces transparency into the process and takes out a major cause of delay in the receiving of documents and notices from the IPO. Though no specific mention has been made, we can surmise that this applies to all types of IP filings (patents, trademarks, copyrights, designs, GIs and so on) made with the IPO.

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