IPO-JPO Patent Prosecution Highway guidelines, New Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure and more

In this week’s Patent News – IPO publishes Guidelines for IPO-JPO Patent Prosecution Highway pilot project, IPO publishes new Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure, Nike and Handsfree Labs sign patent licensing agreement, EPO and INPI Brazil sign Reinforced Technical and Strategic Partnership and other news updates.


IPR 2.0: Need of the hour, says Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Minister of Railways, recently attended the inauguration of the Global Exhibition on Services (GES 2019), in Bangalore. While addressing the gathering at the event, the Minister said that it was time to update the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy, 2016 in the country. According to the Minister, reframing the Policy will create a sound platform for service providers, startups and entrepreneurs while applying for patents. He also added that video conferencing facilities must be made available to all IP Offices to aid better coordination between the Offices. Justice Pratibha M Singh, who was aso part of the event, stated that it is important to regulate websites offering online legal services and IP services. She also said that IPR policy 2.0 must ensure that it accommodates Trade Secrets, GI and mediation in the field of IP.

IPO publishes Guidelines for IPO-JPO Patent Prosecution Highway pilot project

On 29th November 2019, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) published a notification containing the guidelines to file a PPH request under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program between the Indian Patent Office (IPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO). The guidelines essentially contain the prescribed procedures that applicants must follow in order to request for expedited examination under the PPH Program. It covers the scope of the Normal PPH as well as the PPH-MOTTAINAI.  “MOTTAINAI” is a Japanese term meaning “a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilized”. Applicants may request for expedited examination by submitting the relevant documents with the Office of Later Examination (OLE) in addition to satisfying the requirements laid out in the guidelines. The Offices will begin to accept PPH requesting from 5th December 2019. The pilot program will remain active for a period of three years and the Offices will accept a maximum number of 100 requests, per year. The Offices will notify each other and also issue a public notification as soon as they meet the set 100 requests deadline. Further, an applicant is not allowed to file more that 10 PPH requests in a year. You may click here to access the official Guidelines for IPO-JPO Patent Prosecution Highway.

IPO publishes new Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure

The Indian Patent Office on 27th November 2019 published a new Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure. The new Manual has been implemented with immediate effect thereby replacing the previous Manual issued on 22nd March 2011. According to the notification, the new Manual has been updated in accordance with the recent amendments to the Patent Rules, re-engineering of patent procedures and IT automation of activities at the IPO. You may click here to access the new Manual.


Nike and Handsfree Labs sign patent licensing agreement

Nike, Inc., recently announced that the company has entered into an exclusive intellectual property licensing partnership with Handsfree Labs, renowned for its hands-free footwear line. Handsfree Labs engage in manufacturing and designing footwear that does not require the use of hands while wearing or removing shoes. Tom Clarke, Nike President of Innovation spoke at the press release and said “Our partnership with Handsfree builds on Nike’s leadership in using innovative technology to meet consumer needs.”


EPO and INPI Brazil sign Reinforced Technical and Strategic Partnership

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a Reinforced Technical and Strategic Partnership on 26th November, 2019. The MoU was executed in Rio de Janeiro by EPO President António Campinos and INPI President Cláudio Vilar Furtado. According to the notification on the EPO’s website, the partnership agreement between the two offices aims at strengthening the patent system in Brazil and Europe by supporting innovation and economic development, and fostering bilateral trade and investment. The primary objective of the Reinforced Partnership Program is to establish long term partnerships in strategic and technical areas between the EPO and other offices. It strengthens the global patent system by creating a network of patent offices that use products and tools developed by EPO.In addition to the Partnership, the offices also signed an MoU to renew the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Program. The PPH Program will come into effect from 1st December 2019.  You may click here to access the official notification.

China publishes “The Guideline on Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights Protection”

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council recently issued a directive to strengthen the protection of IP Rights in the country. According to Xinhuanet, the “Guideline on Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights Protection” aims to implement decisions and plans of the CPC and the State Council by tightening and improving IPR mechanisms. The Directive reads – “Strengthening IPR protection is the most important content of improving the IPR protection system and also the biggest incentive to boost China’s economic competitiveness.” It further says that by 2022, China must show improvement in tackling IP issues and by 2025, a better IP system must be implemented.

Authored by Vibha Amarnath

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