Thanks to the overwhelming support of many of our readers , our online petition has now garnered close to 100 signatures.
An interesting mix of folks who signed–ranging from students to attorneys/in-house counsels to academics/policymakers to even the founder of a company that first brought Ayurveda to the US.
For those of you who support the cause and still haven’t signed, we would please request you to do so now. The petition is available here. We intend submitting this petition in the next couple of days. If possible, please also include your affiliation (and designation) in brackets after your name. Please also forward this message to your friends/colleagues who may be interested in supporting this cause.
Some of you wrote to inform me that the government is already doing this i.e. creating the database. Let me assure you that the government has been attempting to do this since the mid ’90’s. However, we’re worried that this has taken far too long. A little pressure from various stakeholders can only help–so your signature definitely counts!
Secondly, the government may be making some efforts at creating a database for patent applications. However, there is no move as yet to make patent office decisions publicly available. As we stress in the petition, it is critical that these decisions (either accepting or rejecting a patent application) be made public. This is the only way in which we can hope to increase public scrutiny of the Indian patent office. This will also help us in evolving better patent policy for India.
A recent Mint article seems to suggest that even with respect to patent application data, the scope of information to be made publicly available may be limited. The article states in pertinent part as below:
“Complete applications of patents granted after 2006 will be available in the next few months.”
Clearly, this is a good step forward. However, merely having post 2006 data is not enough–what about patents issued in all the previous years? With all our IT prowess, why has it taken this long? We need to make our collective voices heard and to request that this task, which began in the mid 90’s, be given priority status and fast tracked.