Can Section 20 which is applicable to substitution of applicants in application stage also be applicable after grant of patent?

Question: I have a query on section 20. What I understand from section 20 is that substitution of applicants is carried out in an application stage, is this section applicable for substitution of applicants after grant of the patent as well?

Answer: This section is not applicable for substitution of applicant after the grant and there is no need to substitute applicants after the grant, the reason is simple, the status of an applicant changes to that of a patentee after the grant. Now this should give you the answer.

If you look at section 20, this section is connected to form 6, and section 20 and the connected rules, the connected rules are rules 34, 35, and 36. The section, rules, and the form deal with only instances where the change has to be made before the grant. The section is very clear that it is confined to instances where the change has to be made before the patent is granted.

The question then arises, what happens if you need to make a similar change after the grant. You will find the answer in form 16. Now form 6 and 16 are related, just draw the analogy that before the grant is form 6 and after the grant is form 16. Now form 16 is connected to section 69 and rule 90, now this is a form that is used for registration of a title interest in a patent or a share in it or registration of any document perpetuating to effect the proprietorship of a patent.

So any change in the status, because once a patent is granted, which is the applicant becomes a patentee, then the patentee has an interest in the patent and when you transfer the patent, either the patent completely or license it or assign it or transfer an interest in a patent it needs to be done in an entirely different way, because now there is a right that has crystallized. In a situation in form 6 there is no right that has crystallized, because now right has crystallized and has been entered into the register of patents, any change you make has to be in terms of using form 16 and that should be in alignment with the mandate in section 69. So the procedure is different, because in form 6 there is no right that is there, which is crystallized, so it is much easier to make substitutions, but after the patent is granted we use form 16 because now a right has materialized and to change the right the procedure is different, the patent office needs to be informed, the register needs to be amended, and there are various other intricacies involved.

If you want to give the full right by sale, there is a procedure. In both these cases, you will see that, if you look at form 6 and form 16 you will see that it is mandatory to disclose the document by which you inherit an interest, you get an interest. For instance if it is an assignment deed, a certified copy of the assignment deed or the original copy has to be annexed in both these cases. So we understand before the grant we use form 6 and after the grant because now there is an interest created in the patent, it will be form 16.

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