Delhi High Court clarifies the notification re patent agent examination

In a previous post, we had mentioned that the DIPP had notified the changes in the patent agent examination that prescribed a lower weightage to viva than the written examination.  Based on this notification, candidates like Renu Rampal (post) could have applied to become patent agents.  However, the patent office faced a few practical difficulties in implementing the decision of the Delhi High Court (DHC).  

The practical difficulty was that if the notification was applied retrospectively, a few candidates (~20) who had passed based on the earlier examination pattern (100 marks for Paper 1, paper II, and viva) would fail if the notification was applied retrospectively. 

In view of this, Renu Rampal approached the High Court and filed an application for directions – asking for the notification to be retrospectively applied only to those candidates who had failed in the viva voce examination but had passed (obtained more than 60% in the written papers I, and II).  The division bench comprising Justice Sanjay K. Kaul and Justice Indermeet Kaur, in a reasoned order (January 22, 2013 in W.P. (Civil): 3333/2012) allowed the prayer of Ms. Renu Rampal – and ordered:

“In any case, we find no difficulty in implementation as learned counsel for the respondents states that the amended rules now prescribe minimum aggregate of 60% marks in both written examination and the viva voce with no minimum marks prescribed in viva voce and the weightage for the viva voce marks has been reduced from 100% to 50% with the weightage of the written examination being 100 marks. Thus, all that the respondents had to do was to re-calculate the marks in terms of the amended rules for the examination in question and apply the same to the petitioner.
Learned counsel for the respondents expresses an apprehension that since the results were declared under the earlier rules, some people who were declared successful, would be affected by the amendment to the rules. It is trite to say that these amended rules were not to apply to the persons who had already been declared successful but the question of application of the amended rules would arise only qua persons who were aggrieved by the prescription of minimum 50% marks in the interview. There is no difficulty in this since there is no limitation on the number of candidates who could be declared successful.”  Emphasis added.

As an immediate effect – this decision is applicable to those candidates who had passed in the written examination (obtained more than 60%), but failed in the viva voce examination – in the 2011 patent agent examination.  To my knowledge there are eleven such candidates who pass based on the issued notification.  These candidates are Anvita Singh(M0290); Renu Bala (D0379); Ravish Jain (D0293); R.N. Rawal (D0367); Sachin Ghorpade (D0369); Usha R. Malik (D0619); Deepak K. Pawar (M0195); and Ahila Wani (M0367), and three others.  However, this may not be the exact list.  We suggest those candidates who obtained more than 60% in the written exam – but failed in the viva in the 2011 examination, should contact the patent office in their zone re their candidature and apply for registration as a patent agent.

Rajiv Kr. Choudhry

Rajiv did his engineering from Nagpur University in 2000 in electronics design technology. He has completed his LL.B. from Delhi University, Law Center II in 2006, while working as an engineer at ST Microelectronics in NOIDA. After his LL.B., he went on to The George Washington Univeristy, Washington DC to do his LL.M. in 2007. After his LL.M., he has worked in the US at a prestigious IP law firm based out of Philadelphia. Till 2014, he was Of-Counsel to a Noida based IP law firm where he specialized in advising clients on wireless, telecommunication, and high technology. Rajiv is the founder of Tech Law Associates, a New Delhi based law firm specializing in IP law, with a focus on high - technology, and patent law. His core IP interest areas are the intersection of technology and IP, Indian IP policy, innovation, and telecommunications patents. He is also an inventor with pending applications in machine-to-machine communications domain (WO2015029061).


  1. Anonymous

    Dear Sir, I got more than 60% marks in Paper I (61) and II (60) but got 50% in Via voce. Could you please advise me whether I am qualified or not as i have got more than 60% marks in both paper I and II separatley. Please advise me


  2. Raj Kumar

    To avoid any confusion,the patent office should pass all the candidates who got more than 60% in paper I and II

  3. Raj Kumar

    Ravish Jain, R. N Rawal,Usha R Malik, all these three are passed (have 50% Marks) in the via voce exam, not failed, so how the DHC notice applicable to the though,therefore, as per DHC they are not qualified, please correct me If I am wrong

  4. Anonymous

    I have received 66 marks in paper-1, 57 marks in paper-2 and 50% in viva in the 2011 patent agent exam. So, as per the recent High court decision, my result also should be “PASS” instead of fail as declared earlier by IPO.
    Can someone please advise the best possible way to take the matter forward?

  5. Venkatesh S

    It looks like the patent office has done the same thing again to a few candidates. I see at least 2 candidates declared to have failed although their aggregate is 60% in both papers, other than viva.

    It’s time for another writ petition!


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