The Government’s efforts to encourage people to file their patent applications online seem to be paying off.

In February, the Indian patent office had introduced a 10 per cent price differential for those filing online, as compared to those filing for patents manually.

Between February and March 2014, online filings have jumped from 30 per cent of the total filings to 75 per cent, said Chaitanya Prasad, Controller General of patents, designs and trademarks.

Adding to the benefits of filing online, the Government recently also introduced a comprehensive payment gateway. This expands the options for filing online from the earlier two banks – SBI and Axis Bank to about 70 banks now, besides being allowed to use debit and credit cards for transactions, he explained.

This will further encourage small and medium enterprises and individuals to take advantage of the 10 per cent differential in price, he added.

While the comprehensive payment system has been a long standing demand from industry and others who were active in filing patents, expectations are rife that a similar price differential will be brought in by the

Government for trademark filings as well

Explaining the surge in online filings, Prasad says, two major developments have happened over the last 18 months. Earlier only Form 1 (the application form) could be filed online in both patents and trademarks, now all forms on both sides can be filed online, he said. This, combined with the price differential and the comprehensive payment gateway have contributed tremendously, he added.

As a result, an applicant who would not have been interested in going into the online mode unless he could do all the filing online – is now able to do just that, he points out.

More staff

The push to go online also benefits the patent office, he said, in that it reduces the burden of digitizing documents filed manually.

Of the 1033 posts approved by the Government in the 12th Five-year Plan, about 667 were for patents. And of this, about 337 were for examiners and the rest are Controllers and support staff, he said, on the staff requirements needed to process the filings.