For The First Time In 11 Years, Indian Patent Office Registers More Indian Patents Than Foreign
Of the total 19,796 patent applications filed in this period, 10,706 were filed by Indian applicants against 9,090 by non-Indian applicants, latest data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry shows.
India has taken a step closer to the ambitious goal of being in the top 25 nations of Global Innovation Index, with another milestone of the number of domestic patent filing surpassing the number of international patents filed at the Indian patent office in the January-March quarter of FY 2022 for the first time in the last 11 years.
Of the total 19,796 patent applications filed in this period, 10,706 were filed by Indian applicants against 9,090 by non-Indian applicants, latest data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry shows. Driven by a slew of efforts by the government to strengthen the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime, foster innovation and reduce compliance burden, the filing of patents increased by more than 50 per cent in the last seven years.
Key initiatives like 80 per cent fee concession for startups, small entities and educational institutions, 10 per cent rebate on online filing and provisions on expedited examination for startups and MSMEs along with other categories have ensured an increase in the number of IPR filings and reduced the pendency of patent application at IP offices.
Filing of patents has increased from 42,763 in 2014-15 to 66,440 in 2021-22, and there has been nearly a five times increase in grant of patents in 2021-22 to 30,074 as compared to 5,978 in 2014-15. In 2020-21, Indian residents filed 40 per cent of the total patent applications, which is more than double the number filed in 2010-11.
Interestingly, the explosion in filing of patent applications in India coincides with the modern startups' boom in India, triggered by conscious steps by the government towards providing incentives to encourage and promote educational institutions and startups towards innovation and filing of patents. The startup initiative in India launched in 2016 to extend a helping hand for budding entrepreneurs has seen the government acting as a ‘facilitator’ by focusing on simplification, facilitation and bringing ease in starting and doing business.
A fund of funds for startups, tax exemption for three out of 10 years and Seed Fund Scheme of Rs 945 crore and release of the Patents Rules, 2021 highlighting a rebate of up to 80 per cent on patent fees for educational institutions has also encouraged educational institutes and tech companies with research and development centres to help Indian residents to actively file for IP applications in India.
The government of India has been taking various measures to boost IPR culture like modernisation of IPR offices, adopting e-service delivery system, real-time public dissemination of dynamic intellectual property knowledge, manpower augmentation, setting up of feedback mechanism, amendments in specific IP legislation for simplification of procedures such as reduction of forms, incentivising e-filing and reducing compliance burden.
Despite all this, as the 2021-22 Economic Survey tabled this year points out, the number of patents granted in India remains a fraction of China, the US, Japan and South Korea. Though patents filed in India have grown considerably, as per the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the number is still a fraction of the 530,000 patents granted in China and 352,000 patents granted in the US, 179,000 patents granted in Japan and 135,000 granted in South Korea, for 2020.
The Survey highlighted India's low expenditure on research and development (R&D) activities as one of the key reasons for relatively low patents in India compared to other countries. Spending on R&D in India is still 0.7 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2020.
Procedural delays and complexity are some of the other factors that have deterred many from filing patents in India, says the Survey which also flagged the low number of patent examiners in India which in 2020 stood at 615 compared to 13,704 in China, 8,132 in the US and 1,666 in Japan. This leads to a huge delay in receiving first examination report (FER), delaying the whole process.
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