Senate passes Patents (Amend) Bill 2010
By Tahir Niaz
ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday amended the Patents Ordinance, 2000, relieving the patent examiner of the 18-month time limit, within which he was earlier bound under the law to file reports regarding patent applications.
Previously, the examiner had 18 months to submit a report with the controller of patents in respect of an application filed at the Patent Office for a patent.
Under the amended law, it is now at the examiner’s discretion to process the request for a patent.
Examiners were earlier bound to file the reports at the earliest, taking not more than 18 months from the date of filing of the application in Pakistan.
Under the law, the controller shall refer to an examiner every application in respect of which a complete specification has been filed, for making a report to the controller after detail scrutiny of the application, specification, claims and drawing, if any, to the effect whether the invention is new and involves an inventive step.
The Patents Bill, moved by Adviser to Prime Minister Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gul, had already been passed by the National Assembly and it would now be sent to the president for approval.
However, opposition and treasury senators opposed the amendment, calling it “tantamount to strangulating technical talent in the country”.
Senator Ishaq Dar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Professor Khursheed Ahmed and Professor Ibrahim Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Haji Adeel of the Awami National Party were of the view that instead of expediting applications for patent, the government had abolished the time limit for the process. They said the government should have taken steps to encourage talented individuals, but it had made it almost impossible for them to patent their inventions by amending the existing law.
Source: Daily Times