Madras High Court strikes down amendment to S.126 Patent Act; Says lawyers permitted to appear as Patent Agents as a matter of right

Justice S. Tamilvalan of the Madras High Court recently declared the amendment to Section 126 of the Patent Act, 1970 as unconstitutional. The judgment says that advocates, by virtue of possessing a law degree from a recognized university, have a right to file, appear and undertake all responsibilities of a patent agent.

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Lex-Warrier

April 18, 2013 - 11:56am

The Judgment is welcomed. However now one question remains. Can a lawyer enroll as a Patent Agent now. What would be the procedure. Hope, such issues will be addressed as early as possible so that, those lawyers who would like to venture into the field of Patent Law can start practicing soon

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ADVOCATE

April 16, 2013 - 1:14pm

The judgement is welcomed. Everyone is aware of the fact that people from technical background are being hired for few thousands are drafting all applications which are filed under the name and signature of so called "well established patent agents". It should be admitted that Patent is a legal document containing technical details. Inventor is always there to assist advocates. And Mr. Rohit, if you feel that you understand Sequence Listing and the essential components of section 3 better, why are you afraid of advocates. You are always free to compete with us. Let the inventor decide whether he requires another technical person as he is or a lawyer to protect his rights.

With kind regards
A Lawyer

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Advocate

April 14, 2013 - 9:09pm

What will happen now. Until the inevitable appeals are filed and decided, can advocates register with the patent office as patent agents?

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Rohit Singh

April 12, 2013 - 5:04pm

The judgment of the Hon HC takes the Indian Patent System back in time, when advocates were allowed to register as patent agents (without any scientific background). The Act was amended to improve the quality of patents in India because a Patent is a techno-legal document. It cannot be handled by any person who has no scientific expertise.

Can an advocate (not from science background) understand the following ?
1. Sequence Listing
2. Method of treatment
3. Markush Claims
4. All the essential components of section 3

Only a person from the relevant scientific domain can understand the essentials of section 3. I have nothing against advocates, I personally know so many B.Sc LL.B advocates who are registered Patent Agents.

The amended Patents Act is not unconstitutional. It very much satisfies the requirements of Art 19(6). The restrictions on lawyers not having science degrees is a “Reasonable restriction”.

State is not denying any rights to previously registered advocates (not having science degrees).

An Appeal in Apex Court shall bring out a clear picture of patents agents vis-a- vis advocates.

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