Qualifications for registration as patent agents.—(1) A person shall be qualified to have his
name entered in the register of patent agents if he fulfills the following conditions, namely:— (a) he is a citizen of India; (b) he has completed the age of 21 years; (c) he has obtained a degree in science, engineering or technology from any university established under law for the time being in force in the territory of India or possesses such other equivalent qualifications as the Central Government may specify in this behalf, and, in addition,— (i) is an advocate within the meaning of The Advocate Act 1961 (25 of 1961; or (ii) has passed the qualifying examination prescribed for the purpose; or (iii) has, for a total period of not less than ten years, functioned either as an examiner or discharged the functions of the Controller under section 73 or both, but ceased to hold any such capacity at the time of making the application for registration; (d) he has paid such fee as may be prescribed.
Even prior to 2005 amendment, the law as it stood was to make only those advocates eligible to be registered who held a degree in science/technology/engineering. Any Advocate was not eligible to be registered as Patent Agent. I am not sure if the whole judgement is based on this mistaken fact ! Well this anomaly typically is pretty much distraction while reading the judgment. (and while writing this blog as well !!).
Coming to the constitutionality of section 126 of the Act. The judge struck down the 2005 amendment on the basis of Article 14, 19 and 21. I majorly agree on the conclusion of judgment, however, my reasoning may not be in congruence with the judgment and I independently have tried to see the constitutionality of the amendment and section 126.
Intelligible differentia: The Science graduates who have passed the Patent Agent Examination. Sounds Good!