Pre and Post Grant Opposition
When an application for a patent has been filed, it is published after 18 months form the filing date. Any person can file a pre grant opposition before the grant of the patent, but after a period of 6 months from the date of publication of the application. A pre grant opposition can be filed by way of representation including the statement and evidence, in support of the representation. The representation is considered by the Controller after the request for the examination has been filed for such an application. If the Controller thinks that the Pre Grant opposition has merit, a notice is given to an applicant along with the copy of the representation. An applicant can file reply to the representation along with the statement and evidences within 3 months from the date of the notice. The Controller shall consider the reply filed by an applicant and may either refuse the grant of patent or shall ask the applicant to amend the specification. Based on the above proceedings, the controller within one month can either refuse the grant of the patent or shall reject the representation for the opposition.
After a patent has been granted, within one year of the publication of the grant of the patent, any person interested can file post grant opposition against the grant of the patent. Post Grant opposition can be filed on the grounds mentioned in section 25(2). After the controller receives a notice of post grant opposition, he informs the patentee. A copy of the statement and evidence shall be delivered to the patentee by an opponent. The patentee within two months of the receipt of the opponents statement and evidence, can file a reply along with the evidence supporting his invention. If the patentee does not want to contest the opposition and does not file a reply within two months, then the patent is considered to be revoked. If a reply has been filed by a patentee then, within one month of filing reply by the patentee the opponent can file his reply and evidence. No further reply will be submitted by either party, except on the direction of the controller.
An opposition board is constituted by the controller on receiving the notice of opposition. An opposition board consists of 3 members. One of the member is the chairman, second may be an examiner but not the same examiner who has dealt with the application.