Request for examination cannot be filed beyond the prescribed time of 48 months

Sphaera Pharma, Pte.’s, writ petition, seeking to restore the Indian Patent Application No. 3584/DELNP/2015 has been dismissed by the Delhi High Court. Earlier, the Petitioner had failed to file the request for examination within the prescribed time i.e. within a period of 48 months from the priority date (on or before 05.10.2016) and this resulted in abandonment of the application under Section 11B. The petitioner filed a petition at the IPO, requesting that the status of its Indian Patent Application be reviewed. However, the same was not considered by the IPO.

Aggrieved, the petitioner filed the present Writ petition. The Court held that it is apparent from the language of Section 11B (1) of the Patents Act that consideration of any application for examination beyond the stipulated period is not prescribed. The Court  held that a plain reading of Section 11B(1) of the Patents Act and Rule 24B of the Rules clearly indicates that there is no scope for considering a request for examination beyond the prescribed period of 48 months from the date of application.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner referred to Rule 138 of the Rules and contended that the Controller of Patents retained the power to extend the time for a period of one month in certain cases. The Court found the contention unmerited. The Delhi High Court held that , it is candid from the reading that  recourse to Rule 138 of the Rules is not available to extend the time prescribed under Rule 24B of the Rules, which expressly excludes its application to Sub-rules (1), (5) and (6) of Rule 24B of the Rules. Moreover, in terms of Rule 138(2) of the Rules, any request for extension of time has to be made before the expiry of such time as prescribed in the Rules. Therefore, even if the express language of Rule 138 of the Rules is ignored, the benefit of Rule 138 is not available to the petitioner as no such application for extension of time was made prior to expiry of the prescribed time (that is, prior to 05.10.2016). In view of the above, the petition was held to be unmerited and accordingly dismissed.



A new era in India: Patent granted within 9 months of requesting examination

Indian Patent Office (IPO) has now started granting patents under expedited examination system (Rule 24C of the Patent Amendments Rule 2016) within 9 to 12 months.

One such patent granted is IN2885091 for “A PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF APIXABAN“. A request for expedited examination was filed on 24th October 2016 and the same was converted into an expedited request on 21st March 2017. A patent has been granted to Optimus Drugs Private Limited within 9 months of filing of request for examination and 4 months of converting it into an expedited request, on 12th July 2017. The other factual details are as follows:-


New Numbering System

CGPDTM has launched a new unique numbering system for Patent Applications and Requests for Examination filed at the Patent Office w.e.f. 1st January, 2016. The numbering system has been standardized and streamlined with a view to attain uniformity in accessing and processing applications by all Patent offices in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata).

12 character fixed length format has been finalized for Patent applications filed: YYYYJTNNNNNN and would include the following identifiers:-

  • Year of filling (YYYY)
  • Jurisdiction (J) – 1 for Delhi, 2 for Mumbai, 3 for Kolkata and 4 for Chennai
  • Type of application (T):
    • 1 for ordinary
    • 2 for ordinary- divisional
    • 3 for ordinary – Patent of Addition
    • 4 for Convention
    • 5 for Convention –Divisional
    • 6 for Convention – Patent of addition
    • 7 for PCT NP
    • 8 for PCT NP- Divisional
    • 9 for PCT NP – Patent of Addition
  • Application serial number (NNNNNN)

The new numbering system would have 12 character fixed length format for Request for Examination as well. The format would be:



  • R denotes normal request u/r 24B(1)(i),
  • X denotes Express request u/r 20(4)(iii),
  • YYYY denotes year of filing,
  • J denotes the jurisdiction, and
  • NNNNNN the 6 digit serial number.