2 people signed the petition since April 26, 2009

Petition to Increase Transparency at the Indian Patent Office

This petition is addressed to Mr PH Kurian, the current Controller General of the Indian IP office. It calls for more transparency in the administration of the Indian patent system by interalia, providing more accessible patent information. As many of you may recollect, we made a similar petition to the government in 2007, which elicited a favourable response.Pursuant to this letter and our intervention at the Patent Stakeholder's meeting in Kolkata in November 2008, the government assured us that the database (with easy to access and searchable patent information such as patent specifications and patent office decisions) would be available by March 2009. Unfortunately, the database is yet to be complete. We are therefore requesting the government to indicate a broad time line now.We are also calling for more patent related information to be made public, including the following:i) All correspondence between patent applicant and the patent office (prosecution history)ii) Patent office circulars that impact patentability (noteably in the Dimminaco case, one such circular that found no basis in the express terms of the Patents Act was struck down by the court)iii) "Working" statements meant to be filed by the patentee with the Indian patent office. The Act states that if a patent is not worked for more than 3 years, a compulsory license can be applied for and therefore this information is crucial.iv) Claim amendments made by patentees/applicants from time to time to address issues raised during prosecution by the office or by opponents who challenge the patent.v) Section 8 information (on corresponding patent applications elsewhere: an issue that incidentally came up in the recent Roche vs Cipla litigation over Tarceva)vi) Information pertaining to compulsory licenses and terms of such licensesvii) Information pertaining to patent licenses that have to be registered under the Indian patents act.We are also asking that the government be technology neutral whilst implementing the database and providing this information. As of now, it is near impossible to get any information out of the Indian patent office database, without using Internet Explorer. We are also requesting the government to build public private partnerships with the IT sector in India to build a better e-filing system and other innovative IT tools that would help considerably in the administration of the Indian patent office and would make it world class. We're also suggesting organising a workshop to brainstorm and get the best ideas and to identify good partners in this regard.We are also urging the government to opt for open source IT tools, wherever possible. Importantly, we are also requesting that patent titles and patent abstract information be very clear and reflective of the inventive concept--and that patent applicants that deliberately obfuscate such information be taken to task.I hope you will lend your support to this transparency campaign and make your voice heard to help make the patent system more transparent and more representative of public interest.

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