Patent

The 2018 Patent Agent Examination – Discrepancies and Some Fundamental Issues


We’re pleased to bring to you a guest post highlighting the discrepancies in this year’s Patent Agent Examination that was held last month on October 28. The post also raises a few fundamental and larger issues afflicting this exam. The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

Our earlier posts discussing the concerns regarding the conduct and nature of this exam can be viewed here.

The 2018 Patent Agent Examination – Discrepancies and Some Fundamental Issues

Anonymous

The Indian Patent Office conducted the patent agent examination (“the exam”) on October 28, 2018. The exam was held after a gap of two years, with the last one having been held in November 2016. Based on the roll numbers allotted to candidates, it appears that 4366 candidates enrolled for taking the examination, a high number considering the unique interdisciplinary nature of the examination.

The Patent Office has now released an answer key for each set of the question paper. This post examines some of the discrepancies with the answers mentioned in the answer key for the 2018 exam as also some of the more fundamental issues regarding the manner in which the exam is conducted.

Discrepancies in 2018 Examination

The Patent Office has released the examination paper (Set C) and the answer key (for all sets). These are available here.

In my view, the answers suggested by the Patent Office to Questions 16 and 32 (reference Set C) are wrong.

Question 16, a multiple choice question with one correct answer, is quoted below for ready reference:

Q.16 A researcher finds an idea on recycling of biodegradable plastic. How does he proceed for patenting his idea?

  1. He needs to publish in the Scientific Journal and has to wait for invitation from Patent Office
  2. He needs to submit Provisional Specification and subsequently to file Complete Specification
  3. Both A and B
  4. None of the above

The answer key suggests that the correct option is ‘b’. According to this option, the inventor “needs” to file a provisional specification before filing the complete specification. However, there is no “need” under the Patents Act to file a provisional specification before filing the complete specification. In my view, option ‘d’ – none of the above – is the correct and, at the very least, the more appropriate option.

Question 32 is quoted below for ready reference:

Q. 32 

  1. Rao is a researcher from a reputed institute of Bangalore and has filed one ordinary Patent application before Patent Office though he has published the same subject matter in an International Journal 5 years back before the filing date of the above mentioned Patent application, as he is confident regarding the fact that author of the Journal and the Patent applicant being same and his application shall not be refused within the provision of the Patent Act.
  1. Rao is a researcher from a reputed institute of Bangalore and has filed one ordinary Patent application before Patent Office though he has published the same subject matter in an International Journal after the filing date of the above mentioned Patent application, as he is confident regarding the fact that author of the Journal and the Patent applicant being same and his application shall not be refused within the provision of the Patent Act.

This is a true or false question and the candidate is required to suggest whether any or both of the statements is true.

The answer key suggests that the first is false and the second statement is true. The first statement is clearly false – no issues there. The second statement states that a patent application shall not be refused if it is filed before the publication of the invention in an International journal “as [the applicant] is confident” regarding the fact that the applicant is the same as the author of the journal. The second part of the statement is false – well, the applicant’s confidence is not supported by any legal theory and is legally irrelevant – because the reason for non-refusal is not the identity of the author and the applicant but the fact that the application has been filed before the publication in the journal.

Since the patent will not be refused in the second situation, there may be sufficient ambiguity in Question 32 to justify the Patent Office’s answer. However, this continues the disturbing trend of vague questions with unclear answers in the exam. This happened with the 2016 examination as well (see earlier post on this blog here) – there was a writ petition filed with respect to the answers for one of the questions and the Patent Office’s only response was to point to the ambiguity in the answer. Unfortunately, the Court rejected the writ petition on the basis that the candidate had not shown that the Patent Office’s answer was not “undoubtedly wrong”.

In my view, it is critical for multiple choice questions and answers to be unambiguous and clear. This responsibility is on the examiner. Requiring the candidate to prove that the answer in the answer key is “undoubtedly wrong” illogically places the burden on the candidate since s/he has no involvement in the drafting of the question. With an ambiguous answer for a multiple-choice question, the candidate is left helpless – because s/he has no insight into the examiner’s mind and also has no way to explain her/ his reasoning. This is particularly true for law-related questions, which are often subject to interpretation.

There are some more fundamental and larger issues plaguing the Patent Agent examination.

Nature of the Examination – Focus on Recall Skills as Opposed to Analytical Skills

Closed Book Examinations

The exam is “closed book” – candidates are not allowed to carry statute books or reference material to the exam. The syllabus of the examination is the Patent Act and Rules with only two questions on drafting of patent specifications (See Rule 110 of the Patent Rules). As a result, the exam turns out to be primarily a memory test with candidates being required to recall and regurgitate provisions of the Act and the Rules, including the exact sub-section or sub-rule or form number. This, in my view, is a completely wasteful exercise and misunderstands the basic nature of law practice. In my experience, even some of the most talented and celebrated lawyers refer to the statute book again and again for deciphering different interpretations of statutory provisions. Even domain experts revisit the statute each time they are called upon to provide an opinion on a provision.

In short, the statute book is a tool which lawyers and patent agents have handy at all times; they are rarely called upon to recall exact sub-sections, rules or form numbers without reference to the statute book. Further, as anyone who has given an open-book exam would confirm, these are often harder than closed book exams since they test both analytical and recall skills. Open book exams are better suited to test higher cognitive ability (see an article on this issue here).

Contrast the Indian patent agent exam with the USPTO Registration Examination or the European Qualifying Examination (EQE). Both examinations are open – book; the USPTO allows candidates to refer to all the reference material tested in the examination including the Manual of Patent Examination and Procedure. Similarly, the EPO allows candidates taking the EQE to carry books, timelines, charts etc (see here at page 33). A parallel can also be drawn to the All India Bar Examination which is also “open book” with students being allowed to carry the relevant statutes and notes.

In my view, if the patent agent exam is to achieve its avowed purpose, then it should focus on selecting candidates with analytical skills as opposed to recall and regurgitation skills.

Nature of Questions

The 2018 examination is a classic example of the focus on recall skills. Take for instance, Part 2 of the exam which is supposed to ask “situation based questions”. However, a quick glance at the exam questions that were actually asked shows that this is hardly the case. Some the questions asked were:

1. Write a short note on non-patentable inventions within the provisions of the Patents Act and Rules; 

2. The grant of a patent is based on certain conditions as stipulated under Section 47 of the Patent Act. Briefly explain those conditions. 

3. Explain the various provisions in the prevailing rules for ‘expedited examination’, small entity and ‘start-up’. 

4. Explain briefly the different provisions of the Patent Act for the following:

a. Role of a Patent Agent;

b. Criteria for disqualification of a patent agent

5. One client ‘A’ has come to your office seeking advice regarding assignment for a “solar cooktop” which ‘B’ has already patented. As a practicing patent agent, brief him about the applicable issues as per the Patent Act and Rules to your client A. 

Questions 1-4 are clearly not “situation based”. Question 5 is ostensibly situation-based but essentially requires a regurgitation of the provisions regarding assignment of a patent. Paper 2, which is supposed to be the analytical part of the exam, requires the candidate to answer 9 questions in total – 5 of these 9 are non-analytical.

Again, the EQE serves as a stark contrast. The EQE is divided into 5 papers (see here) and each and every question tests the analytical skill of the candidate. In the most recent round of examinations, each question in each of the five papers required the candidate to apply the law to a detailed fact situation. In a way, this is a byproduct of the EQE being open book – the examiner’s focus has also moved from assessing recall ability to analytical ability since the candidate already has the resource materials during the examination to aid in recall.

Subjectivity in the Viva – Voce

The subjectivity of the viva-voce examination has already been written about extensively on this blog (for instance, see here). I don’t have much more to add except to say that the subjectivity goes to the level of the examiners asking candidates the name of the firm to which they belong – those coming from bigger IP firms are more likely to score higher on the viva-voice. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that candidates are asked the number of years of practice and those who have less than 2 years of practice often score low on the viva – voce.

If India is to improve the quality of its patent agents (which will have a direct impact on the quality of patents which come out of this country), it must test its patent agents on their analytical skills and their ability to apply the law. Till that happens, we will primarily remain a country of patent agents who refile applications prepared by patent attorneys in other jurisdictions and patent specifications originating from India will have to undergo significant amendments for them to be granted abroad. This requires a complete rethink and an overhaul of the patent agent examination system.

59 comments.

  1. Kapil

    As far as question 16 was concerned, it is restricted to the specific scenario. The question clearly states that the researcher finds an idea, which strongly, and in light of the options available, only suggests that the researcher need to work more on the invention to have the same patented. In such a scenario option 2 was the most suitable option.

    As far as question 32 is concerned, option 2 is essentially true, there could be some ambiguity, but MCQs are mostly about finding the best suitable answer.

    And if we talk about the test being a mere memory test, i can safely say based on my discussions with some senior colleagues that 2018s objective paper was one of the most logical one and not a memory test.

    And although i agree to some extent with the exam being made an open book exam yet there are numerous examples of competitive closed book exams being cleared by actual deserving candidates. When an exam becomes more competitive than mere a qualifying one, such restrictions are inevitable.

    If for the sake of criticizing the system one needs to pick holes only, then, in my opinion, all those patent agents who became so only by registration without any exams should also be instructed back to qualify the exam to continue the practice.

    The last point on the viva voce I completely agree, the background of a candidate surely affects the opinion of a panel, therefore, I don’t see any requirement for a viva voce segment when we have a tough enough exam to clear at the first instance.

    Reply
    1. Vishnu

      Exactly Right. Nothing wrong with the Question and answers. Viva also should be skipped in future as the Act & Rules are already been tested by Paper-1 & Paper-2 which are very tough in standard level. But I have a big question in mind.

      This is regarding a question in PART-C (at least 2 options correct) of PAPER-I

      A National or Regional Patent Office grants a Patent. The following Regional Patent Office operative at present is / are:

      a. ARIPO
      b. WIPO
      c. EPO
      d. EAPO

      The Answer is : a, c, d

      But whether the question falls under the PATENT ACT & RULES as per Rule 110(2)?

      It seems (Regional Patent Offices) out of Act & Rules which is not covered by Indian patent act & rules. Pl correct me if my doubt is wrong.

      Reply
        1. Vishnu

          Then every candidates who attended the question should be given equal marks. But we doesn’t know what would be the decision for this question by the patent office.

          Reply
      1. PR

        This is relevant in the aspect of claiming priority – Section. 133.
        So within the scope of the Indian Patent Act.

        Although it could have been worded better to test that knowledge of the exam-taker.

        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Kapil,
    The “memory test” analysis is directed to Paper II and not paper I. Paper II is supposed to test the reasoning and analytical skills but unfortunately, this exam was all about how well have you memorised the sections. I think as long as memory is restricted to section number, its fine, you can know where to look in the act (In fact, ctrl F function does that too, just look for key words). So, at least for paper II, I admire, author of this article. What is not discussed in here is Drafting part. Given that there are options for candidates to attempt either of the questions, reason being people of different technical background attempting the test. I fail to understand why 30 marks question, both options belonged to mechanical. It defeats the purpose of having an options and scews the results completely in favor of engineering background people. This is quite unfortunate. I seriously felt that the question paper was set in absolute rush and without involvement of any thought process!!. Sad!!

    Reply
  3. Anonumous

    Kapil and Vishnu, here are my thoughts in support of the author and in response to your comments:

    1. Question 16 – The Patents Act does not recognize the concept of an “idea” being patented – so there is no basis in law for your “strong suggest[ion]”. In fact, the term “idea” does not even appear in the Patents Act. The examinee can’t assume that the researcher’s “idea” is sufficiently developed to file a provisional specification but not a complete specification. In any event, you miss the point that the author is making – how will the examinee enter the mind of the examiner and appreciate how detailed the “idea” is, without having any more information and context.

    The “most suitable option” logic also fails when NOTA is an option, which is clearly a plausible answer.

    2. Question 32 – You say that the second statement is “essentially true”. “Essentially true” is not an option for the examinee. You will appreciate that these are questions with one correct answer. How is the examinee supposed to decide if “essentially true” meets the true or false standard of the Patent Office?

    Again, reiterating the author’s point – the questions need to be clear.

    3. The “memory test” bit is also about Paper II as the author has even pointed to specific questions. Even if you believe that this year’s examination is better than previous year’s examination, it does not take away from the fact that the exam is mostly about remembering rules numbers, form numbers and timelines.

    4. On the issue of “open book”, this is not a competitive examination. It is a qualifying examination with those scoring above 150 marks. There are many “deserving candidates” who fail to clear the exam as well. Thus just because some deserving candidates clear the exam is no reason to keep the exam “closed book”.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Kapil and Vishnu, here are my thoughts in support of the author and in response to your comments:

    1. Question 16 – The Patents Act does not recognize the concept of an “idea” being patented – so there is no basis in law for your “strong suggest[ion]”. The examinee can’t assume that the researcher’s “idea” is sufficiently developed to file a provisional specification but not a complete specification. In any event, you miss the point that the author is making – how will the examinee enter the mind of the examiner and appreciate how detailed the “idea” is, without having any more information and context.

    The “most suitable option” logic also fails when NOTA is an option, which is clearly a plausible answer.

    2. Question 32 – You say that the second statement is “essentially true”. “Essentially true” is not an option for the examinee. You will appreciate that these are questions with one correct answer. How is the examinee supposed to decide if “essentially true” meets the true or false standard of the Patent Office?

    Again, reiterating the author’s point – the questions need to be clear.

    3. The “memory test” bit is also about Paper II as the author has even pointed to specific questions. Even if you believe that this year’s examination is better than previous year’s examination, it does not take away from the fact that the exam is mostly about remembering rules numbers, form numbers and timelines.

    4. On the issue of “open book”, this is not a competitive examination. It is a qualifying examination with those scoring above 150 marks. There are many “deserving candidates” who fail to clear the exam as well. Thus just because some deserving candidates clear the exam is no reason to keep the exam “closed book”.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Seems author have analysis by paralysis syndrome regarding MCQ. All other points seems reasonable. On analytical part, this time it appears they want to play safe by giving memory test questions so that nobody raised objections related to marking.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Dear All, Simple common knowledge of the patent acts and rules indicates that all the questions and answers are correct.

    This is only one way to create some kinda wave to oppose whatever patent office is doing.

    Q16 and Q32 both are right and also the answers provided by the patent office. These are not arguable at all.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “Merely Idea” is not patentable – and filing a provisional patent application is not requesting for the grant of the patent….

      When one’s invention is at the ideation stage then one can file provisional patent application – that is the REASON – filing of a provisional patent application concept has evolve.
      One is convert idea by experimenting and testing – means when one is “REDUCE TO PRACTICE” – then only one can file a complete specification.

      Reply
    2. Vishnu

      Then Pl specify the reference point of Act / Rule regarding Q.41 (Regional Patent Offices) and It will be helpful for us.

      Reply
  7. Ram

    Mere idea is not patentable. The idea needs to be worked on to create a novel invention which is patentable. None of the above should be right answer. Idea is not patentable unless implemented. This can be found in any book on Patents.

    Reply
    1. Anon

      Well Dear, you need to understand that there is a concept called “Conceptual Reduction to Practice” and that is sufficient to file a patent application. It does not necessarily require “Actual Reduction to Practice”. Conceptual reduction to practice can be accomplished by filing either a provisional or non-provisional (complete spec) application. Although the law does not mandate you to file provisional, but considering the questions and the options given, i believe the option that requires you to file provisional followed by complete is the best answer. Please also keep in mind that you don’t have to pay again for filing CS provided you don’t exceed the 30 page and 10 claim limit.

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    why name on answer book of paper 2 essential; seat number is sufficient. what is the logic behind writing name on answer booklet.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Reference Set D:

    Q1. An Indian applicant has filed an ordinary Patent application before Patent Office by filing Provisional Specification on 12.05.2011 (assuming no post dating of application). Find out the correct option from the following:
    a. The applicant filed the Complete Specification on 12.08.2012 after filing Form 4 on 11.05.2012 for three months extension.
    b. The applicant filed Complete Specification on 12.05.2012
    c. The applicant filed a petition under 138 of the prevailing Rules and submitted the Complete Specification on 12.06.2012.
    d.None of the above.

    The answer key released by Patent Office says the answer as ‘b’ but in my opinion it should be ‘d’.

    As per Section 9(1): Where an application for a patent (not being a convention application or an application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty designating India) is accompanied by a provisional specification, a complete specification shall be filed within twelve months from the date of filing of the application, and if the complete specification is not so filed, the application shall be deemed to be abandoned.

    So, in the above question the Complete specification should be filed by 11.05.2012, then only it shall meet the criteria of filing within twelve months. The date 12.05.2012 becomes one day after twelve months period has expired.
    Thus in the above question, option ‘d’ is correct answer.

    Reply
    1. Zeus

      Say a person celebrates his 18th birthday on 18 July 2018. How many months later is his 19th birthday? If your answer is 12 months, then the same rationale applies. The clock starts ticking after the day of filling is over.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        The section says within twelve months and moreover in the example you have quoted it becomes 19th birthday after twelve months have passed. The number changes from 18th to 19th!

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Also please note, the section says ‘a complete specification shall be filed within twelve months from the date of filing of the application’. It clearly says within twelve months from the date of filing and not after the date of filing as you have mentioned.

          Reply
          1. Zeus

            Maybe you’re right – the above was not a complete explanation. Let’s try again.

            For a person born on 14 Nov 2000, 11:30 AM, 1st birthday (1 year/12 months) is 14 Nov 2001, 11:30 AM; …. 18th birthday is 14 Nov 2018, 11:30 AM; and 19th would be 14 Nov 2019, 11:30 AM. All birthdays are 12-month (or 1 year) anniversaries.

            Put another way, the person completes the first year (12 months) only on reaching 14 Nov 2001, 11:30 AM. Even 1 minute before that, his or her 12 months are not complete.

            So, to your concern about “within” – 11:29 AM on 14 Nov 2001 is within 12 months of 11:30 AM on 14 Nov 2000.

            IPO does not look at the time of the day though. For the IPO, filing at 11:29 AM or 11:29 PM will still be counted as 14 Nov (although I highly recommend not getting that close).

            So, if this person files a provisional on his 18th birthday, then she/he should be able to file the complete spec until his 19th birthday. Hope this clarifies.

    2. Vishnu

      If you want to pay for the 10th year renewal fee (Before the expiration of 9th Year in respect of 10th year; as per Schedule-1 of Rule-7) for a granted patent, say if its date of filing was on 30/06/2008, then YOU CAN pay the 10th year renewal fee till the end of day on 30/06/2017. Not restricted only upto 29/06/2017. This is practically followed in all POs worldwide. Expiration (the term within) of any year calculated by this standard only. In light of this, hope you understand that the option (b) is correct.

      Reply
  10. Zeus

    Very well written article. Agree with everything in it.

    1. With regards to questions, the analysis and reasoning presented by the author is correct and on point. This is not a test about the art of answering MCQs, this is a test of patent law and ascertaining what is right and what is not. Precision is the key.

    Q. 16 is worded with “need” – and clearly, the researcher does NOT “need” to file a provisional. Whether he needs more research etc. are all conjectures – there is NO such suggestion.

    Also, ignoring a written word on the question and extrapolating it to what the IPO “would have meant” is not splitting hair. It is the right way – read the facts in the question and answer it.

    So unless someone can clearly establish that there is a need under the Act for the researcher to first file a provisional and then a complete Spec, option d is the correct one.

    This paper is about knowing the Act, Rules and practice. Act and Rules are clear – provisional is NOT NEEDED. Even in practice, based on what is provided in the question – researcher already has an idea and is ready to protect it, and advising the researcher that she/he needs to file a provisional first is bad advice in my view.

    Q. 32 analysis made by the author is similarly very sound and on point.

    I would also add to the article:

    1. Clearly, the papers need to be QC’d more – there should be more people taking the test to eliminate such obvious language issues – before these papers are finalized.

    2. In our center, one staffer from IPO actually announced int he room “You can mark multiple questions” – it should not have been done.

    3. I am not sure who today writes more than a paragraph at a stretch. Forcing people physically write about 20-30 pages is really burdensome.

    I understand logistics may be an issue for providing computers to all, but it cannot be an unsolvable problem in this day and age. If some people do have the limitation that they do not have ready access to a computer, then it could be made optional to do a paper or a computer.

    4. Finally, in a subjective paper, they need to specify what they are looking for.

    Situation based questions – should be crafted better, and should have a clear and unambiguous path to a concrete and unique conclusion, so that a candidate who knows the Act/Rules/Practice can demonstrate how to arrive at it.

    Drafting side – by far the descriptions were superior than the prior ones. But are the candidates copying the text in the right order, or is it being evaluated how clearly they can explain the invention – what exactly is being looked at? Or is it whether there are numerals in the claims and Abstract, and a signature after the claims?

    This is important because IPO has adopted a policy to not re-check the paper and it is incredibly tough to ascertain how one did in a paper.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Also please note, the section says ‘a complete specification shall be filed within twelve months from the date of filing of the application’. It clearly says within twelve months from the date of filing and not after the date of filing as you have mentioned.

    Reply
    1. I would like to be Anonymous

      When I started out practicing patent law I had similar doubts. If you are looking for answers in Patent Act and Rules, I am afraid you will not find them. Please read Paris Convention. The day of filing is not included in calculating 12 month period. I hope this clarifies.

      There are some more places in the Patent Act one will have similar confusions………… -:)

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Yes, you are right in case of Paris Convention the date is counted after the date on which basic application was made (Section 135) but in Section 9(1), it is clearly written within twelve months from the date of filing. Also the question relates to ordinary application and not the convention application.

        Reply
  12. Vishnu

    As per the CONSOLIDATED INSTRUCTION released by IPO for Patent Agent Examination-2018, the PART-A & PART-B of Paper-2 should comprise Situation based questions only. But as Author mentioned, out of 7 Questions, Q-1; Q4; Q5 and Q6 (4 Questions worth of 30 Marks) are not situation based. In PAE-2016 also one 5 Marks question was a kind of Memory test. But in PAE-2018, it affects 30 marks which misleads the aspirants on how should prepare for examination. A person who has thorough knowledge in corresponding ACT & RULE only can answer either for Memory Test as well as Situation based test. And not much difference are there between the way of giving answers or solution in relates to Act&Rule. Anyhow IPO must have clear and fair idea on it while preparing question papers.

    Reply
  13. Ayushman

    Unfortunately your opinion about question 16 is horribly wrong. It is simple if you want to file a patent you “need” to file PS and CS. How hard it is for you to understand this? Read the question’s statement carefully and not just the options.

    Regarding question 32 you are correct that there is minor ambiguity but that doesn’t change the answer. Wrongfully claiming to be the author is a ground of refusal for Grant of patent. And this is what second part is trying elaborate. Either way answer in key is correct.

    Bigger issue is asking question outside of the act. The question related to ARIPO WIPO EPO. Of course by reading Act you know that in WIPO patent cannot be filed but I didn’t know about what EAPO was even though I was aware of ARIPO and EPO. Thus, I did not mark EAPO and lost my marks. So, in fairness key should say that whoever has not marked WIPO should get the marks.

    Reply
    1. Vishnu

      Yes definitely WIPO is not a National or Regional Patent Office to grant patents. And that too not mentioned anywhere in ACT/RULE. Whereas in MANUAL OF PATENT OFFICE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, we can have fair idea about WIPO. But you couldn’t get the details of EPO, ARIPO & EAPO from above said documents and how can anyone decide the functions of those Regional Patent Offices?

      Reply
    2. Vishnu

      Correction to my previous comment: Patent Rules 7(ab) specifies “International bureau” means the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organisation. So WIPO functions are clearly defined but misses EPO/ARIPO/EAPO. Hence the question is clearly out of scope of PAE.

      Reply
    3. Vishnu

      Correction to my previous comment: Patent Rules 17(ab) specifies “International bureau” means the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organisation. So WIPO functions are clearly defined but misses EPO/ARIPO/EAPO. Hence the question is clearly out of scope of PAE.

      Reply
      1. Active Analyst

        Than what about Natco Pharma CL question. In every question paper there are scope of general awareness questions – also in previous year question papers they already asked ARIPO full form (fill in the blank questions).

        Reply
        1. Vishnu

          @Active Analyst, You know that Natco Pharma is related to Compulsory License. CL is well covered by Act & Rule and therefore the question convince Rule 110(2). I admit Full form for ARIPO asked previously but that also violates Rule 110(2). But what about EPO & EAPO?

          Reply
        2. Vishnu

          We are writing PAE for Indian Patent Agent but not for Europe, Eurasia or African patent agent. WIPO only goes along with our Indian Act & Rule as it is an International treaty but other options are out of subject.

          Reply
    4. AN

      Ayushman, stop trying to merely justify your answers while being rude to others. In my view, your opinion is “horribly wrong” – you DO NOT “need” to file PS and CS for filing a patent – this is quite fundamental.

      Reply
      1. Neeraj

        And has to be looked into as mere conjunction i.e. a word joining two words together. But author is considering and as an Logic operator used in Computer languages. Language of exam is English not Computer Language. Also rejecting this as correct answer would mean that Complete Specification need not be filed. Although there is some weight to your argument as well. Question is ambiguous to say the least.

        Rudeness of AN is more than that of OP since AN used the exact words OP used to be harsh and then some. Anyway this discussion getting way too salty for my taste.

        Reply
      2. Ayushman

        Sorry for being rude. I agree with Neeraj’s logic as well. I think y’all are thinking way too much on a generally simple question.

        Reply
  14. Zeus

    This is a discussion forum. We could all use a bit of politeness while expressing our views. As to your statement on Q 16.

    “It is simple if you want to file a patent you “need” to file PS and CS.”

    This statement is factually incorrect. If you want to file a patent, you do NOT need to file a PS at all – because you can achieve “filing a patent” by just filing the CS, and NEVER filing the PS. So, again – you don’t NEED to file the PS.

    The above should not be hard to understand.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Going yo your explanation for Q1:
      IPO does consider the application till 12.00 midnight of the deadline date. 12.01 AM would be considered as next date!!!!
      So in your example “within” – 11:29 AM on 14 Nov 2001 is within 12 months of 11:30 AM on 14 Nov 2000.
      The explanation you are giving is neither convincing nor going by the law as given in Section 9(1).

      Reply
  15. Dday

    For Q. 12. An Indian applicant has filed an ordinary patent application before Patent Office by filing Provisional Specification on 12.05.2011 (assuming no post-dating of application). Find out the correct option from the following:
    a. The applicant filed the complete specification on 12.8.2012 after filing Form 4 on 11.05.2012 for three months extension
    b. The applicant filed complete specification on 12.05.2012
    c. The applicant filed a petition under 138 of the prevailing Rules and submitted the Complete Specification on 12.06.2012
    d. None of the above

    The correct answer suggested is option b, but as per section 9 sub-section 1, the complete specification should be filled within 12 months from the date of filing the application. I understand that within 12 months means on or before 11.05.2012 and not on 12.05.2012. The correct answer should be option d.

    Reply
    1. Vishnu

      If you file a patent application on 01/01/2020 its full term is upto 01/01/2040 but not 31/12/2019. Therefore on or before 12/05/2012 only correct option for above question.

      Reply
      1. Vishnu

        Its full term is upto 01/01/2040 but not 31/12/2039. Therefore on or before 12/05/2012 only correct option for above question.

        Reply
  16. Amit Tailor

    Protecting an Idea: Can Ideas Be Patented or Protected?

    Do not consider this as an argument against or in favor of any of the arguments related to ‘Idea’ and ‘Patentability’. I’m sharing this just because its relevant to the topic ‘Can Idea be Patented’.
    Full story/blog can be read at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/11/17/protecting-idea-can-ideas-be-patented/id=103389/, if interested.

    The opening remarks of the other is –
    “Many people ask: can ideas be patented? The short answer is no. Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard from late night television commercials, there is no effective way to protect an idea with any form of intellectual property protection. Copyrights protect expression and creativity, not innovation. Patents protect inventions. Neither copyrights or patents protect ideas. This is not to suggest that ideas are not valuable, but they are not valuable in the same way or sense that pop culture has led many to believe.”

    Reply
    1. Annoying anon

      Amit, you seem to be looking at things in a very superficial manner. Let me ask you few simple questions – what is central to an invention? what does your invention protect? Answer is the underlying IDEA! We are not talking about idea as it exists in the mind of someone. Your idea needs to take some tangible form and patent specification is an example of that. What is prevented by a patent is not making copy of your patent specification, but your idea that you have communicated to the world by putting it in some form, for example a patent specification. ideas do not have value if they only exists in your head, no matter how concrete they are. Needless to say, your idea must satisfy the criteria of patentability for it to be protected. If you understand the difference between what a copyright protects and what a patent protects, the distinctions is very clear.

      Reply
      1. Amit Tailor

        I’ve clearly said “Do not consider this as an argument against or in favor of any of the arguments related to ‘Idea’ and ‘Patentability’. I’m sharing this just because its relevant to the topic ‘Can Idea be Patented’.” Its just to provide some relevant reading, one can go through the full story if one is interested. Its not about endorsing any view, its just sharing a story/blog. It has nothing to do with the correctness (or otherwise) of the question in PAE and the answer thereof.

        Reply
  17. Anon

    Has anyone who appeared for the exam received any communication from the IPO yet?

    The portal for registration for the Exam was not operational when I tried – any better luck for anyone?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Vishnu

      “”A policy not to re-check the answer sheets of the Patent Agent Examination but to re-total the marks obtained will be followed on receiving the request for re-totaling for a maximum period of 01 MONTH FROM the publication of FINAL RESULT of the examination.””

      I don’t know whether any special options (online) will be offered by Patent Office for Re-Totaling after final result. But you may reach them at [email protected] (mentioned in e-admit card) regarding the discrepancies. Pl note, it will not be encouraged before FINAL RESULT.

      Reply
  18. Vishnu

    Written Examination 2018 Result Comparison Vs 2016

    2018 Pass % | 2016 Pass %
    ———————————————————————————
    Chennai 61.99 | Chennai 15.86
    Mumbai 52.54 | Mumbai 21.43
    Delhi 50.76 | Delhi 21.88
    Kolkata 43.27 | Kolkata 10.64
    Nagpur 29 | Nagpur 23.85
    ————————————————————————————
    Total 52.36 | Total 19.85
    ————————————————————————————
    *Candidates are accounted even they attended Paper-I alone.

    Overall pass % increased this time. But notable improvement occurred in All centers except Nagpur. When compared to 2016, this year (2018) Paper-II valuation goes liberal in all centers except Nagpur it seems. And also the difficulty level of Paper-I was little lesser than in 2016. After Viva-Voce, the final result would show the exact outcome.

    Reply

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