The Indian Patent Office (IPO) has recently issued another set of guidelines, this time on examination of biotechnology applications. Our earlier write-up on a set of guidelines issued by IPO, for examination of applications relating to traditional knowledge, can be seen from here.
The guidelines explain in detail, with illustrative examples, on various facets of patentability of biotechnology related inventions, including novelty, inventive step, industrial application, sufficiency of disclosure, clarity of claims, Biodiversity related issues, section 3(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3 (e), 3 (h), 3 (i). The patentability of biotechnology related inventions particularly genetic engineering, has invoked many debates in the recent past.
There is a definite need for having a uniform practice in the Indian Patent system on examination of such applications for both Applicants and Examiners and these guidelines would definitely serve the purpose. There has been a thorough discussion on every aspect with examples.
The draft guidelines are available at: http://www.ipindia.nic.in/iponew/Draft_Biotech_Guideline_19December2012.pdf.