Congratulations to Rajiv Aggarwal, India’s New Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks

Sinapse congratulates Rajiv Aggarwal, IAS officer and Joint Secretary of DIPP – Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, for being appointed as the new Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) of the Indian IP Office. He assumed charge on March 18, 2015.

Rajiv Aggarwal will be the third IAS officer who will be heading the Indian IP Office. Previously, Mr. Chaitanya Prasad and his predecessor Mr. P H Kurian held the position. These appointments gesture a change in trend from such positions being held only by Examiners or Patent Specialists.

The tenure of the earlier CGPDTM, Chaitanya Prasad, lasted 3 years. Mr. Prasad’s tenure was indeed a remarkable one, as he initiated several reforms for digitization and smooth functioning of the Indian Trademark Registry. His tenure as CGPDTM saw the introduction of tools like Dynamic Trademark Utility, Design Application Search Utility and Stock and Flow based Trademark Utility tools, which ensured easier and simple access of IP Records by the General Public as well as the inauguration of “IP Expression” Magazine, a biannual publication of the Intellectual Property Office. His office also facilitated the e-filing of Design Applications and GI Applications.

The Indian Patent System is a level playing ground for all prospective applicants, irrespective of their nationality, and the Patent Office provides the same treatment to a national of any country, which provides reciprocal treatment to Indian citizens. The Indian Patents Act has been designed so as to provide adequate opportunity for the growth of Indian industry as a whole. Within these limits, any industry can avail of benefits for their development using the provisions in the Act. Incidentally, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in paragraph 20 of the Declaration, desire that the Heads of State and Government “encourage pharmaceutical companies to make essential drugs more widely available and affordable by all who need them in developing countries”.

However, the key challenges these days are further modernization of the IP Offices and their restructuring to keep pace with increased filing. Expecting that India is to become an eminent technical hub by 2020, the Indian Patent Office is preparing to meet the requirements of the future with short-term and long-term objectives. As a long-term objective the Patent Office will start preparing for a complete overhaul of the system so that maximum possible utilization of resources with minimum wastage can be achieved with the vision of 2020. The short-term objective referred to as (1) preparation for the Madrid Protocol and (2) operationalization of the International Searching Authority (ISA)/International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) agreements of the WIPO and (3) developing a suitable quality control management system and putting it into operation. We look forward to Rajiv Aggarwal fulfilling these objectives and more in coming years. Sinapse team wishes him good luck!

Image source/attribution: here (All rights belong to respective authors)