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RTI request to Indian Patents Office for Form 27 (Statement of Working of patents), March 2016

The Centre for Internet and Society filed this request under the Right to Information Act in March 2016 as part of research for the paper: Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance (July 2017). We sought forms pertaining to 61 of the patents found in our patent landscaping study. These forms were not available on the online public databases, InPASS and IPAIRS, at the time of the filing the RTI request. Research assistance was provided by intern Shreshth Wadhwa.

Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance (July 2017)

Patent landscaping study -- Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey (April 2016)

We filed our first application under the RTI Act with the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks in Mumbai in June 2015 for procuring Form 27 not available through their online databases, but received a generic response about how to download Form 27 from the online databases. The IPO also stated, “The desired information relates to about 1700 patents for all the years, to supply and trace out the information physical form requires huge humane resource and need to divert the office staff for some days which would hampers the day-todays- official work therefore, the information is proactively disclosed in the office website for the public”. (View the application and response here)

In view of this response, we filed another RTI application with the same office in March 2016, and restricted the number of patents to 61. The patents represent a cross-section of owners in our landscaping study. (View methodology). We also stated in the RTI request that we had already searched the online databases for the forms and did not find any. The IPO replied in April 2016 that it could provide CIS with forms for eleven of the requested patents. As for the rest of the forms, the IPO stated, “As thousand of Form-27 are filed in this office, it is very difficult to segregate Form-27 for the patent numbers enlisted in your RTI application as it needs diversion of huge official/ staff manpower and it will affect day to day work of this office.”

A few days after CIS received the reply from the IPO, Form 27 pertaining to patents in the landscape happened to start appearing on InPASS and IPAIRS E-register portal.

Text of the application and the IPO’s response

(View a scanned copy of the application here and of the response here)

11 March 2016

To

Central Public Information Officer

Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks

Boudhik Sampada Bhawan

Near Antop Hill Post Office, S.M. Road,

Antop Hill, Mumbai - 400037

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Subject: Request for information under section 6 of the Right To Information Act, 2005; regarding Form 27 submissions for patents

  1. Full name of the applicant: Ajoy Kumar
  2. Address of the applicant: 194, 2nd C Cross, Domlur 2nd stage, Bangalore 560071
  3. Details of the information required: Please consider this an application under Section 6 of the Right To Information Act, 2005. This is an application for three pieces of information.

Firstly, you are requested to provide us with the Form 27 submissions for all the following patents for all the years for which they are available.

Secondly, we also request a record of all the years for which such Form 27 submissions have not been made for each of the patents listed here.

In the event that you do not possess these documents, please transfer this application to the concerned authority within five days of its receipt and inform us of the same; as mandated under Section 6(3) of the Act.

Patent Numbers:

  • 264868
  • 264414
  • 218424
  • 236178
  • 250862
  • 264266
  • 263473
  • 264878
  • 264343
  • 257411
  • 263618
  • 258568
  • 264451
  • 222947
  • 263817
  • 258983
  • 196731
  • 256864
  • 262863
  • 264764
  • 259008
  • 196474
  • 264532
  • 265027
  • 258788
  • 248749
  • 259831
  • 265788
  • 214641
  • 252360
  • 250406
  • 209397
  • 226831
  • 235014
  • 229789
  • 265069
  • 220354
  • 254083
  • 264352
  • 231642
  • 258698
  • 261503
  • 241959
  • 214988
  • 237117
  • 264824
  • 263358
  • 235688
  • 251240
  • 236556
  • 203034
  • 203036
  • 234157
  • 203686
  • 213723
  • 229632
  • 240471
  • 241747
  • 223183
  • 243980
  • 200572

I submit that I have searched for copies of Form 27 filings of the above patents on the online portals of the Indian Patent Office, including the IPAIRS search engine and INPASS. As the search results did not yield the Form 27 documents, I am making this request under the Right To Information Act. Screenshots of three instances in which Form 27 was not found are attached in Annexure I. The respective patent numbers are mentioned along with the screenshots.

[Annexure I]

****************************************************************************************

Response from the IPO (reproduced verbatim)

Government of India

Patent Office, Boudhik Sampada Bhavan

S.M. Road, Near Post Office,

Antop Hill, Mumbai 400037, India

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ipindia.nic.in

Letter No: RTI/ 03

06/04/2016

To,

Shri Ajoy Kumar,

194, 2nd C Cross,

Domlur 2nd Stage

Bangalore - 560071

Sub: Supply of information sought under RTI Act, 2005 - reg.

Sir,

With reference to your application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 dated 16/03/2016 in this regard the detailed parawise information as follows.

  1. As thousand of Form-27 are filed in this office, it is very difficult to segregate Form-27 for the patent numbers enlisted in your RTI application as it needs diversion of huge official/ staff manpower and it will affect day to day work of this office.
  2. It is difficult to create such a record for the Patent numbers; you have listed for the same reason given above.

However, copies of Form 27 for Patent nos. 222947, 259008, 258788, 250406, 235014, 203034, 203036, 234157, 203686, 213723, 240471 could be made available to you on paying prescribed copying charges of Rs. 480/- (120 x 4 = 480/-)

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Ujjwala Haldankar

Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs & Central Public Information Officer

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Rohini Lakshané

Rohini Lakshané is a technologist by training, a public policy researcher and a Wikimedian. She has worked on several research and advocacy projects on the intersection of technology, policy, and civil liberties. Her body of work encompasses diverse territories such as the application of technology and policy to solve issues of gender inequity, violence and discrimination; access to knowledge; openness; patent reform; making tech spaces diverse and inclusive; and the cross-hairs of gender, sexuality and the Internet. In 2014 and 2015, Rohini served on the jury of The Best of Blogs, an international award honouring excellence in online activism, instituted by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. In a previous avatar, Rohini worked as a technology journalist and editor in the print and web domains, ferreting out stories on human interest and online civil liberties. Rohini tweets @aldebaran14.