European patent office to include Indian patents in their search database.

An invention can be the subject of a number of patent applications worldwide, in a variety of languages. Patent equivalents are a list of similar patent documents; with the same priority dates from throughout the world (for example see here). Searching for Indian patent equivalents is a herculean task! I’ve always wondered why Indian patents never featured in free online databases like WIPO’s Patentscope or EPO’s Espacenet. Thankfully that’s going to change. As reported by Business standard, Indian patents will soon be a part of European patent office huge database, which currently covers patent information of 90 countries!

Image from here

Indian patent office website lacks a user friendly interface and iterative search features (my opinion); thus locating corresponding Indian patent equivalent is a challenging task. However if the EPO signs the deal with the Indian patent office, Indian patents will soon be visible on the International map. This increased visibility would mean increased technology transfer and licensing opportunities for India. This deal might also have significant ramifications in the biologic patent information arena, where searching and identifying patents is crucial (due to absence of orange book).

Madhulika Vishwanathan

Madhulika Vishwanathan

Madhulika is a registered Indian patent agent and has completed her Master’s in Pharmacology from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai. Her interests include issues involving pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent law, regulatory aspects like Hatch Waxman litigation and antitrust law.She is currently working at law firm based out of Memphis, TN.


  1. AvatarShankar

    There are a lot of gaps in the data. The website of IGCAR, Kalpakkam (link: lists 18 patents as available for technology transfer. Except for three or four patents at the top, none of the other patent documents can be located on the IPO website. Maybe we will get better search capability with whatever data is available.

  2. Avataranonymous

    India is proud of its IT manpower…..many MNCs hire Indians software professionals. I am sure behind EPO/USPTO databases some Indians software professionals are involved. It is a pity that IPO database is hopeless to say the least. If you see the file wrapper, it is the most highly disorganized, not to talk of its incompleteness. A computer science undergraduate will come up with a better database than the current IPO database including the present IPO website.

  3. AvatarAnonymous

    Pity condition of Indian IP scenario .As world progresses with high end research and development by investing the hard earned knowledge and dedicated research of the inventors around the globe.hoping to get recognition for their work and to transform that work in to benefits of the society at large.

    Inventors invests precious time of their life to develop something that is beneficial and could be implemented for the creation of new things. After inventing something that inventor tries to protect their invention by way of getting intellectual property right in form of applying to get a patent protection. Around the world the patent offices are working hard to recognize the precious work done by the inventors well equipped with resources in form of Examiners and other knowledge base to judge the invention based upon its merit, certainly the hard work done over a long period of time requires attention and fine sense of technical judgment in collaboration of the local prevalent law of the lands.

    Major patent offices like US and EPO are investing heavily to get the patent application examined in due course of time without compromising with the quality of the examination process to give best chance to the precious work done by the inventor to give his legitimate due for his genuine work. In these offices the work load per examiner is comfortable 8-10 cases per month to give adequate time and attention to judge the invention in best possible manner, where as in INDIAN PATENT OFFICE which is already lack of resources like non availability of examiners in sufficient numbers, now a days they are heavily burdened with the applications upto 30-40 per moths to deal with. Now anyone can imagine the quality of work and standard of examinations reports will come out after 6-8 years waiting time. It is not justifiable for a person waiting to get a reply after such a long time with such kind of sub standard report.

    Additionally Indian Search Authority recently launched its office which is also facing the same problem of lack of resources, while facing high numbers of pending cases in Indian patent office, it is not viable to open another highly anticipated authority of international search.

  4. AvatarBhakti Pawar

    It is true that the current IPO website is not up to the standard and efforts must be taken to improve it so as to provide better interface and search features.

  5. Avatarr k jain

    The anticipation of accessing Indian patent list with ESPTO is exaggerated. Going by the ESPTO determination of searched documents is by the linkage with the priority number. And for this the Indian patent office would have to completly integrate the priority numbers with the ESPTO serach engines. With the current infrastructure of Indian patent office , this will be quite challenging to provide the details in an structured data form which could be assimilated with the ESPTO search engines. And as per the Business std report the agreement with ESPTO is still to be signed. Keeping Indian Patent search separate by searchers will reaming a forced better option than depending of other search engines as you cannot access their search congruence.


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