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Patent application fees enhanced in Patent Rules 2014; concessions provided to MSMEs

New Delhi, Mar 5 (KNN)  Indian Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2014 made effective from February-28 has provided concessions to MSMEs in various categories of Patent Application Fees. However, the new rates of fees for MSMEs are more than two and half times the fees to be paid by ‘individual’ applicants under the various categories.
 A special category of applicants for patent has been introduced in the form of “small entity” which means a micro, small or medium enterprise as per the MSME Development Act, 2006. 
As per the current definitions, an MSME is –
·  in case of an enterprise engaged in the manufacture or production of goods, an enterprise where the investment in plant and machinery does not exceed  ten crore Indian            Rupees ( approximately USD 1614990.00); and
·  in case of an enterprise engaged in providing or rendering of services, an enterprise where the investment in equipment is not more than does not exceed five crore Indian          Rupees (approximately USD 807495.00).
A revised fee structure has been provided for filing of patent application as well as other proceedings before the Patent Office. In general, the fees applicable for
1.  Natural Persons (Individuals) has been increased by approximately 60 per cent.
2.  For others (other than small entity or natural persons) the new fees are approximately 5 times as compared to natural persons.
3.  For small entities the new rate of fees are approximately around 2.5 times as compared to natural persons i.e. 50 per cent of the fee for other (large) entities.
While the concessions provided to the MSMEs when compared to large enterprises is a welcome step, the wide difference in fees for individual applicants and MSMEs will encourage filing of patents by individuals. 
A fall out will be holding of IPRs at the individual level rather than at the institutional level that is the IPR will not be institutionalised.