The Delhi High Court restored two patents filed by the European Union which were subsequently abandoned due to non-filing of the Reply to First Examination report. The High Court noted that while the deadline is non-extendable in nature, the same can be condoned on a case-to-case basis.
While highlighting the importance of Patent Agents and analysing the facts and circumstances of this case, the Court opined that the Applicant had every intention of pursuing the application and that the Applicant’s erstwhile agent acted against the intent of the Applicant.
The Applicant was conscious of the fact that the patent may be maturing for examination and took the initiative to keep in touch with the patent agent from the very inception. Further, while placing reliance on the judicial opinion in respect of responses to FER or other deadlines, it was evident that if the Applicant did not have an intention to abandon the application and if the Court is convinced that there was a mistake of the patent agent and the Applicant is able to establish full diligence, the court ought to be liberal in its approach.
Among other things, the Court also took into consideration, the recommendation of the 161st Parliamentary Standing Committee’s Report which called for flexibilities in the Indian Patent Regime concerning deadlines and timeframes in patent prosecution before the Patent Office.