The Indian Patent Office has recently announced the Indian patent agent examination 2022. If this is the first time you are writing the patent agent examination, please read this article on how to prepare for the patent agent examination first. Now, let’s look at some skills that you need for Indian patent agent exam preparation.
1. Indian patent law
The most important factor that governs your performance in the patent agent exam is knowledge on Indian Patent law. You must know important sections, their corresponding rules, forms and associated fee to be able to answer questions in the written examination. Knowing the entire Indian Patent Act is not necessary but it is important to know the practical application of important sections and rules. While reading the Act, do not try to mug-up and reproduce the exact citations (it needs too much effort!). Instead, you should understand how each section and corresponding rules apply in real-life scenarios. Think of scenarios like filing a patent application, opposing a patent, resolving disputes between inventors, and so on. Solving previous years’ patent agent examination papers would provide a great perspective on using the Patent Act as a tool to address practical applications rather than only learning sections and rules.
2. Reading and comprehension
In the written exam (Paper 2), there are subjective questions that require you to answer excerpt-based questions. The subjective questions normally include 2 types of questions – the first type includes descriptive real-life scenarios related to the Patent Act which you need to understand and respond in terms of the applicable section and rules. The second type includes brief descriptions of inventions that you need to understand and write a patent application accordingly. For both types of questions, it is important that your reading and comprehension is strong so that you can quickly grasp the problem in minimal time and respond efficiently.
3. Written articulation
Strong written articulation certainly helps in clearly articulating your thoughts on the subjective questions. Knowing about a solution to a question and writing it are two different things. You may precisely know what sections and rules to apply when facing a real-life scenario in a question. However, if you don’t practice writing, it may be difficult to reproduce the exact flow of thought on paper when you have a time limit in the actual exam. Therefore, you should practice writing answers to questions in a time-bound manner to bring out your thoughts on paper so that they are clearly understandable by the Examiner. Similarly, you should practice writing description of simple inventions (e.g. coconut cracker, a water hose, pliers, or other everyday objects around you) within time constraints so that the written articulation is the least of your worries during the exam.
4. Understanding on how to write patent claims in India
While the basic principles of writing claims in India are similar to other countries, there are some structural/formal aspects that should be considered while writing claims in the Patent Agent exam. For instance, the claims should include reference numerals of all elements where a reference numeral is illustrated in the question paper. Further, the dependent claims should not be dependent on multiple preceding claims. All claims should be explicitly supported by the description provided. Another requirement is that the claims should have the heading as ”I/We claim:” and should begin on a separate page. The dependent claims should have the wording – “The method according to claim 1,…” and avoid the wording ”The method of claim 1….”.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you should practice writing the Indian claim writing format by referring to some published Indian patent applications and granted patents. Refer to this article for more on How to prepare patent drafting for Patent Agent exam.
5. Patent application writing format in India
Indian patent applications are written in the format specified by Form 2 of the Indian Patent Act. In the patent agent examination, you should use the same format while writing the patent application. This essentially implies that the first page of your patent application should illustrate relevant sections of form 2, followed by the detailed description, claims and abstract. The Abstract should be followed by a figure number as per Indian format.
6. Verbal articulation
Once you crack the written examination, the next stage is Viva with the Controllers/Examiners at the Indian Patent Office. If you have studied the Indian Patent Act, Viva is normally not difficult to crack. The Examiners would ask you questions mainly on various sections and rules and their applications (think of it as a verbal version of Paper 2). The Examiners expect clear and concise answers. This is where verbal articulation plays a vital role. If you know the answer to a question, you should be able to explain it clearly in terms of how you, as a patent agent, would help clients resolve a particular real-life scenario. For this, you should practice verbally articulation with your friends or alone in front of a mirror (it helps!). Not only this would result in clarity of thought and better flow of answers, this would also help you identify gaps in understanding and prepare better.
Hope this article was helpful in understanding how to prepare Indian Patent Agent Exam!
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