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Users stranded after Indian patent office website shuts down for over 2 days


Over the weekend, we received a few complaints that Indian patent office left users stranded – with its notification about scheduled website outage for over 2 days!

website_maintenance_news

The June 4,2015 notification stated Due to Application and Data Migration from old to the New servers systems, the Online services of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks & Geographic Indications (including online filing and information services) shall not be available from Friday, 05th June 2015 (6:00 PM onwards) to Monday, 08th June 2015 (2:00 PM)

While, the patent office was considerate enough to schedule the website maintenance after work hours on Friday and weekend, the 1 day notice period left some users fuming!

Data migration unlike some other technical website glitches is planned and the Indian patent office could have informed the users about the website outage in advance instead of inconveniencing the users like this.Also the IPO could have offered users alternative methods of filing like fax filing/mail etc.

Patent deadlines are crucial and lapsed deadlines could result in loss of patent rights. As we all know, if a deadline falls on a weekend or national holiday the due date is extended to the next succeeding working day.

Hypothetically speaking, if a patent complete filing deadline was due on Friday and someone delayed e-filing a non-provisional application until after 6pm on Friday – would such a delay be condoned by the patent office, considering website outage?

Readers do chime in with your comments!

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.

3 comments.

  1. AvatarShankar

    Regarding ” As we all know, if a deadline falls on a weekend or national holiday the due date is extended to the next succeeding working day.” – while this is ok for procedural requirements of the IPO, this will not serve internationally. No purpose will be served by obtaining a filing date that is later to a deadline, unless the IPO recognizes a postmark date as filing date, which is not possible – there is the requirement of fee payment by a date for the filing to be considered valid.

    Also, is it not a rollback (during the time of outage) to the days when the online filing system did not exist and everything was on paper?

    This is therefore not merely a minor inconvenience but a major issue of patent rights. At the very least they should have publicized this outage via the papers well in advance, say at least a week or 10 days.

    Reply

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