THE PATENTS ACT, 1970
[As amended by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021]
CHAPTER 21 – PATENT AGENTS
125. REGISTER OF PATENT AGENTS.
(1) The Controller shall maintain a register to be called the register of patent agents in which shall be entered the names, addresses and other relevant particulars, as may be prescribed, of all persons qualified to have their names so entered under section 126.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), it shall be lawful for the Controller to keep the register of patent agents in computer floppies, diskettes or any other electronic form subject to such safeguards as may be prescribed.
126. QUALIFICATIONS FOR REGISTRATION AS PATENT AGENTS.
(1) A person shall be qualified to have his name entered in the register of patent agents if he fulfills the following conditions, namely:—
(a) he is a citizen of India;
(b) he has completed the age of 21 years;
(c) he has obtained a degree in science, engineering or technology from any university established under law for the time being in force in the territory of India or possesses such other equivalent qualifications as the Central Government may specify in this behalf, and, in addition,—
(i) [Omitted by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005]
(ii) has passed the qualifying examination prescribed for the purpose; or
(iii) has, for a total period of not less than ten years, functioned either as an examiner or discharged the functions of the Controller under section 73 or both, but ceased to hold any such capacity at the time of making the application for registration;
(d) he has paid such fee as may be prescribed.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a person who has been registered as a patent agent before the commencement of the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 shall be entitled to continue to be, or when required to be re-registered, as a patent agent, on payment of the fees as may be prescribed.
127. RIGHTS OF PATENT AGENTS.
Subject to the provisions contained in this Act and in any rules made thereunder, every patent agent whose name is entered in the register shall be entitled—
(a) to practice before the Controller; and
(b) to prepare all documents, transact all business and discharge such other functions as may be prescribed in connection with any proceeding before the Controller under this Act.
128. SUBSCRIPTION AND VERIFICATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY PATENT AGENTS
(1) all applications and communications to the Controller under this Act may be signed by a patent agent authorised in writing in this behalf by the person concerned.
Provided that if such person is absent from India, they may be signed and verified on his behalf by a patent agent authorised by him in writing in that behalf.
(2) [Omitted by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002]
129. RESTRICTIONS ON PRACTICE AS PATENT AGENTS.
(1) No person, either alone or in partnership with any other person, shall practise, describe or hold himself out as a patent agent, or permit himself to be so described or held out, unless he is registered as a patent agent or, as the case may be, unless he and all his partners are so registered.
(2) No company or other body corporate shall practise, describe itself or hold itself out as patent agents or permit itself to be so described or held out.
Explanation.— For the purposes of this section, practise as a patent agent includes any of the following acts, namely:—
(a) applying for or obtaining patents in India or elsewhere;
(b) preparing specifications or other documents for the purposes of this Act or of the patent law of any other country;
(c) giving advice other than of a scientific or technical nature as to the validity of patents or their infringement.
130. REMOVAL FROM REGISTER OF PATENT AGENTS AND RESTORATION.
(1) The Controller may remove the name of any person from the register when he is satisfied, after giving that person a reasonable opportunity of being heard and after such further inquiry, if any, as he thinks fit to make—
(i) that his name has been entered in the register by error or on account of misrepresentation or suppression of material fact;
(ii) that he has been convicted of any offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment or has been guilty of misconduct in his professional capacity which in the opinion of the Controller renders him unfit to be kept in the register.
(2) The Controller may, on application and on sufficient cause being shown, restore to the register the name of any person removed therefrom.
131. POWER OF CONTROLLER TO REFUSE TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN AGENTS.
(1) Subject to any rules made in this behalf, the Controller may refuse to recognise as agent in respect of any business under this Act—
(a) any individual whose name has been removed from, and not restored to, the register;
(b) any person who has been convicted of an offence under section 123;
(c) any person, not being registered as a patent agent, who in the opinion of the Controller is engaged wholly in acting as agent in applying for patents in India or elsewhere in the name or for the benefit of the person by whom he is employed;
(d) any company or firm, if any person whom the Controller could refuse to recognise as agent in respect of any business under this Act, is acting as a director or manager of the company or is a partner in the firm.
(2) The Controller shall refuse to recognise as agent in respect of any business under this Act any person who neither resides nor has a place of business in India.
132. SAVINGS IN RESPECT OF OTHER PERSONS AUTHORISED TO ACT AS AGENTS.
Nothing in the Chapter shall be deemed to prohibit—
(a) the applicant for a patent from drafting any specification or appearing or acting before the Controller, or
(b) an advocate, not being a patent agent, from taking part in any hearing before the Controller on behalf of a party who is taking part in any proceeding under this Act.