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Petition opposes science degree for patent agents

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, DEC. 24. A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court admitted a writ petition challenging the amendment made to section 129 of the Patents Act which requires a patent agent to have a degree in science.

The notice to the Central Government and the Controller, Patent Office, was issued on the petition filed by Janeevan John, a High Court lawyer.

According to the petitioner, a patent application could be filed only by a patent agent who is in the patent agents roll before the Controller, Patent Office or by the inventor himself. Section 126 of the Patent Act 1970 prescribed the qualification of a patent agent. It said that the patent agent should have obtained a degree from a recognized university or equivalent qualifications and had passed the written examination prescribed for the purpose. An advocate could also practice as patent agent.

The petitioner said that by an amendment to section 126 of the Act, a degree in science, engineering or technology had been made mandatory while applying for a patent agency.

Thus, an advocate who did not hold a degree in science or engineering or technology could not register as a patent agent. The petitioner said that in preparing the legal documents, the role of an advocate could not be excluded on the grounds that he was not a science graduate. Such an exclusion was arbitrary.

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