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January – Unknown connection with IP field

Article by Vivek Pandey


After India got independence on 15th August 1947, the Indian Constitution came into force on 26th January 1950. So, on 26th January 2024, we will be celebrating our 75th Republic Day. As law professionals, we also know that the Supreme Court of India had its first hearing was held on 28th January 1950. However, there are many more interesting facts about January which are related to the IP field.


– On 27th January 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for the incandescent lamp that flagged the way for the household electric lights around the world.

– The World Trade Organization is an international organization created on 1st January 1995, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It facilitates and promotes international trade. India is a member of the WTO. Governments, in cooperation with the United Nations system, use this organization to establish, review and enforce laws that regulate international trade. The WTO administers:

o General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT),

o TRIPS Agreement,

o Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property Rights,

o Patent Practices Treaty (PCT), and

o Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of Microorganisms for the  Purposes of Patent Proceedings, and similar.

– On 01st January 2013, the USPTO transitioned from the United States Patent Classification (USPC) system to the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system.
[A classification system jointly developed by USPTO with the European Patent Office (EPO).]

– A updated version of the International Patent Classification (IPC), enters into force on the 1st day of January each year. The signatory countries must mention this classification for patents in their official publications. In PCT application, this classification is determined by the International Searching Authority (ISA).
[The International Patent Classification (IPC) is a classification system for patents and utility models is established as per provisions of the Strasbourg Agreement 1971.]

– On 31st October 2019, the European Patent Organization (EPO) and Georgia (GE) signed an agreement, allowing Georgia to be included as a Validating Country in European patent (EP) application. This agreement came into force on 15th January 2024.

– For ordinary EP applications, the filing date must be on or after 15th January 2024, to include Georgia as a Validating Country.

– For PCT applications having EP as ISA, to include Georgia as a Validating Country, the international filing date (PCT application) must also be on or after date 15th January 2024.

– The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) officially introduced changes to its Patent Policy, Forms & Guidelines – Patent statement and Licensing Declaration form on date 1st January 1999.

– The UK Patent office has changed the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) fee structure on 1st January 2024.


– The Copyright Act, 1957 (the ‘Act’) came into effect in January 1958.

– The Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 effective from 1st January 2005.

– Regulations under the Patent Law Treaty came in force from 1st January 2006.

– The first amendment was made through the Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999, but came into effect retrospectively from 1st January 1995. The amendment included introduction of the filing of product Patents w.r.t drugs, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals (previously not permitted).

– On 1st January 2000, a Second Amendment was introduced to bring the Indian patents law into line with all the important provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. The main issues are to redefine the concept of patentable subject matter, prevent the introduction of product patents, extend the period of patent protection up to 20 years and reform the compulsory licensing system.

– The third amendment to the Patents Act 1970 was introduced by the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005, which came into force on 1st January 2005. This amendment provides for product patents in all technical fields and introduces the concept of pre-grant opposition and post-grant opposition.
[As India has a prior commitment to apply the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement to the Indian patent’s laws.]

– On 26th January 2007, the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers announced the formation of a committee to establish a price negotiation system for patented drugs to ensure such drugs are available at a reasonable price under the National Pharma Policy. The seven-member committee is chaired by the Director (Chemicals) and also includes representatives from the Department of Health and Commerce. If the committee’s recommendations are accepted, the legal requirements should be met through amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

– Database on Indian Patents: Patent Facilitation Centre (PFC) has developed three CD-ROM databases on Indian Patents/applications:

o Ekaswa-A: Having patent database related to Patent applications filed in India as published in the issues of the Gazette of India (Part III, Section 2) from 1st January 1995 to 31st December 2004.

o Ekaswa-B: Having patent database related to Patent applications accepted and notified for the opposition in the Gazette of India (Part III, Section 2) published for the same period i.e. from 1st January 1995 to 31st December 2004.

o Ekaswa-C: Having patent database for Patent applications published in Official Journal of Patent Office from January 2005 till June 2008.

– Late Harivansh Rai Bachchan is a famous Hindi poet and writer. His most famous work was Madhushaala (1935), Hindi translations of Shakespeare‘s Macbeth and Othello. He died at the age of 95 years on 18th January 2003. Under provision of the Copyright Act, 1957, the copyright remains with the author for the lifetime of author plus 60 years after his/her death. This means, the rights over his work will be completed in the year 2063 and his son Mr. Amitabh Bachchan (actor) will lose copyrights protection over his late father’s works in January 2063.

– “National Youth Day” is celebrated every year on January 12 to celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. On this National Youth Day (12th January 2024), O/o CGPDTM launched the “IP Manthan” series. The objective of the “IP Manthan” series is to facilitate various discussions and activities focusing on the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the economic and cultural development of the country.