In a previous post, we had mentioned that the DIPP had notified the changes in the patent agent examination that prescribed a lower weightage to viva than the written examination. Based on this notification, candidates like Renu Rampal (post) could have applied to become patent agents. However, the patent office faced a few practical difficulties in implementing the decision of the Delhi High Court (DHC).
The practical difficulty was that if the notification was applied retrospectively, a few candidates (~20) who had passed based on the earlier examination pattern (100 marks for Paper 1, paper II, and viva) would fail if the notification was applied retrospectively.
In view of this, Renu Rampal approached the High Court and filed an application for directions – asking for the notification to be retrospectively applied only to those candidates who had failed in the viva voce examination but had passed (obtained more than 60% in the written papers I, and II). The division bench comprising Justice Sanjay K. Kaul and Justice Indermeet Kaur, in a reasoned order (January 22, 2013 in W.P. (Civil): 3333/2012) allowed the prayer of Ms. Renu Rampal – and ordered:
“In any case, we find no difficulty in implementation as learned counsel for the respondents states that the amended rules now prescribe minimum aggregate of 60% marks in both written examination and the viva voce with no minimum marks prescribed in viva voce and the weightage for the viva voce marks has been reduced from 100% to 50% with the weightage of the written examination being 100 marks. Thus, all that the respondents had to do was to re-calculate the marks in terms of the amended rules for the examination in question and apply the same to the petitioner.
Learned counsel for the respondents expresses an apprehension that since the results were declared under the earlier rules, some people who were declared successful, would be affected by the amendment to the rules. It is trite to say that these amended rules were not to apply to the persons who had already been declared successful but the question of application of the amended rules would arise only qua persons who were aggrieved by the prescription of minimum 50% marks in the interview. There is no difficulty in this since there is no limitation on the number of candidates who could be declared successful.” Emphasis added.
As an immediate effect – this decision is applicable to those candidates who had passed in the written examination (obtained more than 60%), but failed in the viva voce examination - in the 2011 patent agent examination. To my knowledge there are eleven such candidates who pass based on the issued notification. These candidates are Anvita Singh(M0290); Renu Bala (D0379); Ravish Jain (D0293); R.N. Rawal (D0367); Sachin Ghorpade (D0369); Usha R. Malik (D0619); Deepak K. Pawar (M0195); and Ahila Wani (M0367), and three others. However, this may not be the exact list. We suggest those candidates who obtained more than 60% in the written exam – but failed in the viva in the 2011 examination, should contact the patent office in their zone re their candidature and apply for registration as a patent agent.