Our patent office had initiated the expedited examination procedure last year under the revised rules 2016. This program has yielded excellent results and some patents already granted. One of them has been granted in record time of less than 4 months. This is remarkable as if excluded the time taken by the applicant to respond, the patent office took only 19 days. This is less than a month!
About the patent: This is IN2885091 granted for ‘A process for the preparation of Apixaban’. In this the request for expedited examination was filed on 21.03.2017 and the first examination report (FER) issued in less than two weeks: 31.03.2017. The reply to the FER was filed some time later on 04.05.2017 with a hearing on 23.06.2017, and further written submissions made on 03.07.2017. The patent issued on 12.07.2017. These timelines bring our patent office in line with the global practices. As is the norm in the US / Korea etc. under the Patent prosecution highway or otherwise, expedited examination is fast. The Indian patent office has gone ahead and made it lighting fast!
About the expedited examination procedure: Expedited examination is done under Rule 24C on form 18A on the grounds that either the applicant is a startup or that India is the designated search authority or the international preliminary examining authority. A normal request for examination (done under Rule 24B) can be converted to one for expedited examination by paying the relevant fees and submitting the documents.