Recently we wrote about the number of welcome measures taken by the Patent office with regard to transparency and efficiency, including the online payment gateway. While we certainly applaud these measures, it appears there are a couple of creases yet to be ironed out. We bring you a guest post from Jitin Talwar on an issue that’s cropped up with the online filing system when transactions over Rs 5 lakhs are involved. As he points out, given that now prices for filing offline are 10% higher than for filing online, this difficulty in online filing of high value transactions is proving costly as well. Jitin Talwar is an advocate and patent agent. He is also a partner at Talwar Advocates.
Online System does not support high value patent filing transactions
It was with much fanfare that the Patent office upgraded its online payment systems, the rules were also changed to incorporate a “discount” for online filing OR a premium for offline filing. We have been great advocates for Online filing and the efforts to incentivize online filing is creditable, however the current payment gateway is ill equipped to handle high value transactions.
It so happened that we needed to file two consecutive patent applications with official fee running into more than 5 lakhs each.
We tried the following banks but none worked.
- Citibank – listed in Internet banking but goes through to debit card that as per RBI has a limit of 2 Lakh.
- Icici – not listed in Internet banking , debit cards not working
- Sbop – saral not working , vyapaar not working.
- Sbi – saral not working.
The RBI regulations seem to prohibit transactions greater that Rs. 250,000 via card banking and to date after having tried several banking solutions, NONE worked.
It turns out that ONLY some dual accounts enabled business banking accounts from State bank of India support the transactions upwards of Rs. 500,000/-, these accounts need to be specially enabled by issuing requests to the bank and several security upgrades. It is practically impossible to glide through the maze and it can take weeks for a transaction to be enabled.
Emails to the officials including the Joint Controllers and Assistant Controllers were very quickly responded to even on a weekend, they are helpful but still helpless in context of overarching systemic deficiencies.
It is time for the patent office to move fast so that we continue to see change play out and the systems present the sunny side up.
We have the following suggestions to make
- Enable payments in separate tranches
- Currently the third party namely Billdesk is being used, this is in contrast with the earlier direct payment systems, there may be merit in using BOTH the systems
- NEFT/RTGS transactions should be enabled.
- There should be a system to pay over the counter at the Patent office where uploads have been done online.
- And finally, in case applicant is not able to file online owing to a fault or inadequacy in the system, there should be a simplified provision in the rules for refund of the differential amount of Premium.