India, Product Patents
The Government of India has promulgated an Ordinance by which the Patent Act of 1970 is amended. The amendment has been introduced to harmonize Indian law with TRIPs. It will now be possible to obtain patents for products as well as processes in Pharmaceuticals and Agro Chemicals (i.e. food, chemicals and medicines). Amendments to simplify and rationalize the time-frame for patent granting were also introduced: the time limit for giving requests for examination has now been reduced from 48 to 36 months. Computer programs may be patented if they have a technical application to the industry or if they can be embedded with hardware. The fee system has also been altered: as well as increases under the various headings, extra official fees have been added for specifications in excess of 30 pages and claims in excess of ten.