New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) Pendency of patent applications at the examination stage has come down to 1.72 lakh as of February end this year on account of measures such as hiring of manpower and use of IT, the government said today.

The ministry has taken multi-pronged approach to increase disposal of patent applications, Minister of State of Commerce and Industry C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

As on March 2017, the pendency of applications was 2.04 lakh.

He said that 6,235 applications were examined in February alone as against 3,925 during the same month last year.

“The pendency of patent applications at examination stage has come down from 2.04 lakh as on March 31, 2017 to 1.72 lakh as on February 28, this year,” he said.

The minister informed that necessary physical and IT infrastructure is established in all patent offices — Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

“Manpower has been augmented for examination and disposal patent applications, 33,495 examiners of patents and designs have been recruited and 84 new posts of examiners and 95 posts of controllers have been sanctioned for patent offices,” he said.

Computerised work-flow, automation and IT enabled services have been implemented to facilitate the examination work and optimise the speed and quality of examination, he added.

He also said that timelines have been imposed to ensure speedy disposal.

With the use of IT, now applications can be transferred electronically from any of the branches of patent office to another.

Usually, it takes about 6-7 years for grant of a patent. The ministry is working to significantly cut this time. Grant of patent involves different stages of scrutiny and examination including application filing, screening and classification, and request for examination.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.