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A deep dive into Form 27: The working statement of Patents in India

A failure to file Form 27 does not automatically lead to the loss of ownership of the patent.  However, consistently failing to file Form 27 can lead to the risk of the patent getting abandoned or revoked, causing the loss of patent rights to the patent holder.

As per Section 122 of the Patent Act, a failure to submit proper and correct information by way of Form 27, attracts a fine which may extend to ₹ 10,00,000 (rupees ten lakhs).

Prior to the amendments introduced in the Jan Vishwas (Amendment) Act of 2023 (Jan Vishwas Act), the submission of incorrect information was also punishable with imprisonment which extended to six months, or with a fine, or with both as prescribed in Section 122 of the Patent Act.  However, after the passing of the Jan Vishwas Act, Section 122 of the Patent Act was amended, and it was decriminalized. The submission of incorrect information now attracts only a fine and not imprisonment.

The essence of Form 27 is that it places a finger on the pulse of the commercialized patents in the market. While it is appreciated that every patent granted cannot be monetized for a variety of reasons, the annual submission of Form 27 serves as a means of keeping track of the patents that are in use in the market and those that could not be commercialized.

It is possible to license or sub-license patents to another, for a mutually agreed fee. These agreements are usually mutually negotiated by the patent owner and the patent licensee. However, a special category of licensing in the form of ‘Compulsory Licensing’ has also evolved.

In the case of those patents, in which Form 27 has not been filed for three consecutive years and where the patent holder is not very keen on licensing it to another, then an interested person may apply to the Controller of Patents for the grant of license for such a patent, inter alia, on the ground that the general public is not benefiting from the patented invention.  

After scrutiny, if the Controller of Patents observes that the interested person has made efforts to obtain a license from the patentee on reasonable terms and conditions, and he has been unsuccessful, then the Controller can direct the patent holder to grant a license to the Patent to the interested person for the public good. This is also known as ‘Compulsory Licensing’.   

Source: Barandbench

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