On 28th February, 2014, the Indian Patent Office published and implemented a new set of rules which came into effect immediately. Under these rules, a new Applicant Entity referred to as a “Small Entity” has been created. There are now therefore three different Applicants and different sets of fees will apply to each of these Applicants.
The first category of Applicants is natural persons and the lowest set of fees will apply to this category. The new category created is the “Small Entity” which is defined as “a Firm or a Company that either renders services or manufactures or produces goods and wherein the investment in plant and machinery doesn’t exceed Rs. 10 Crores (INR 100,000,000) in the case of manufacturing enterprises and Rs. 5 Crores (INR 50,000,000) in the case of service providers”. A second set of fees will be applicable to this category of Applicants. All other Applicants fall in the 3rd category and the normal set of fees would apply to these Applicants.
The Controller has also given an incentive to Applicants who file their applications electronically and a 10% Surcharge has been fixed on Applicants who wish to file physically. In general, the fees for Large Entities (3rd category fees) are five time the fees for natural persons and the fees for small entities is half the fees chargeable for large entities.
Another addition is that if priority is claimed from more than one application, the application fee must be multiplied by the number of priorities claimed. It is also important to note that this increase also affects the fee payable for additional claims beyond 10 and additional sheets of specification beyond 30.
While pre-grant oppositions are still free of cost, the fees for post-grant oppositions have been significantly increased to INR 12,000/- (approximately USD 250).
A peculiar fee is the fee of INR 8,000/- for withdrawing an application. A very significant increase is in the fee for Request for Examination. In the case of a Large Entity, this can be INR 22,000/- (approx. USD 400).
The renewal fees structure has also substantially increased wherein for the last 5 years; the fee has gone up to almost USD 800 per year.
It is hoped that this increase in fees will be accompanied by an improved efficiency of services.