Back in 2009, SpicyIP had sponsored a petition addressed to the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) pleading for “greater transparency and more access to patent information.” In the following years, the CGPDTM has stepped up its efforts in making available more and more patent information online. Notably, in 2010, the office launched IPAIRS, the Indian Patent Information Retrieval System. The CGPDTM subsequently has constantly been improving the IPAIRS, offering new search fields such as Applicant Address and PCT Number in 2012, and introduction of Stock and Flow Based Dynamic Patent Utility in 2014 to enable access to real time patent information.
It has come to our notice that on 27 February, 2015, the CGPDTM has announced the introduction of a new search tool named INPASS. The INPASS allows full-text search to be conducted for patents as well as patent applications, allowing for search using wild-cards, truncation and Boolean operators. With this, the IPAIRS has now officially been withdrawn.
We have not had the chance to use INPASS yet, however, we hope that the new search capabilities introduced by CGPDTM will be a step forward in making patent information accessible to the public. To paraphrase the 2009 petition- we are all stakeholders in ensuring that the patent system stimulates innovation but at the same time we must also ensure that we do not pay monopoly prices for undeserved patents.