If you are not an Indian native or you don’t have an address of business in India, you must appoint a professional representative in India. The law does not say that you have to. However, if you reside abroad, you must furnish an address for service in India which will be used for all communications from the Indian Patent Office.
Hence, by appointing a patent agent you will appoint a professional representative in India. The address of the authorised patent agent, for example, could serve as an address for service.
For more information, check out the Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure (Chapter 3).
Also, do make sure that you check out this free e-book: A Quick Guide to Patents. Basically, it deals with basics of patent procedures.
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