To encourage greater participation of the educational institutions, which play a pivotal role in the country's innovation, official fees payable by them under the Indian Patents Rules, 2003, have been reduced by way of the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which came into effect on September 21.

“In yet another significant push towards Mission Aatmanirbhar Bharat, benefits related to 80% reduced fee for patent filing and prosecution have been extended to educational institutions” said Ministry Commerce and Industry. This benefit was earlier available to all recognised educational institutions owned by the government only. In the Patents Rules, 2003, rule 7 (i) in sub-rule (1), the second proviso has been amended to include educational institution, thus stating:

“Provided further that in the case of a small entity, or startup, or educational institution, every document for which a fee has been specified shall be accompanied by Form-28.”;

Further in Patents Rules, 2003, Rule 2, after sub-rule (c), rule (ca) is inserted as follows:

“(ca) “educational institution” means a university established or incorporated by or under Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State Act, and includes any other educational institution as recognised by an authority designated by the Central Government or the State Government or the Union territories in this regard”.

The Ministry also stated, “these institutions engage in many research activities, where professors/teachers and students generate several new technologies which need to be patented for facilitating commercialisation of the same. High patenting fees presents a restrictive element for getting these technologies patented and thus work as a disincentive for development of new technologies”.

The Ministry added that at the time of applying for patents, the innovators have to apply these patents in the name of the institutions which have to pay fees for large applicants, which are "very high and thus work as a disincentive".

The concession in the patent fee is now extended from startups, small entity and women applicants to educational institutions as well.

It’s a significant step to empower youth and instigating hidden creative talents.