Patents play a very important role in innovation and tech transfer. It shall be considered as a crucial element in a country’s development and success in the global marketplace. A country’s patent regime therefore can be a steppingstone in advancing innovation.
The Indian government is making strides to push IP protection to the fore of R&D and encourage tech transfer. Patents are exclusive intellectual property rights (IPR) that can effectively prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing a patented technology.
India’s R&D spend is estimated to reach USD 71.5 billion by 2016 from USD66.49 billion in 2015. In 2015, India became the world’s 6 th largest annual R&D spending country, accounting for 3.53 per cent of global R&D expenditure. R&D spending in India is anticipated to grow from 0.9 per cent to 2.4 per cent of the country’s GDP from 2014 to 2034 respectively Under Section 83 (c) of the Indian Patents Act 1970, it is stated that “protection and enforcement of patent rights contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology”.
Patents a boon for startups:
India has become the fastest growing hub for startups worldwide and many more ventures are continuously emerging. While protection of novelty and innovation plays an important role for the generation of creativity, it also attracts valuable investments. The Indian government’s scheme for facilitating startup intellectual property protection (SIPP) enables innovators to protect their IPR by filing patents, trademarks and designs.
According to the Startup IP India initiative by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), 6096 entities have been recognized as Startups. In a recent DIPP notification, the period for claiming the “Startup” status has been increased from 5 years to 7 years and for a Startup in the field of Biotechnology, the said period is up to 10 years. Further, the DIPP has removed the requirement of a recommendation letter from an incubator or industry association for registration as a Startup.
One of the main reasons for a Startup to protect its IP is because attaining IP rights over a product or service to the exclusion of others is well recognized in financial lifecycle of the company, which extraordinarily increases the credibility of the startup; hence, attracting investments.
Patents can help the startups in the following ways:
- identify investors and convince them to invest in innovation;
- develop an attitude conducive to defending IPR;
- generate revenue through licensing
- ensure their freedom to operate;
- increase the market value of products and technologies;
- strategically align with potential market leaders; and
- develop partnerships for research and development.
Advantages of India in Patents in Business Innovations
Indian companies’ investments in R&D are not surprising given the importance of innovation to sustain competition. Indian players are set to benefit from expiration of patents.
Apple has submitted 5 applications with the Indian Patent Office in 2016, for innovations related to digital payments. Facebook is also looking to tap into the mobile wallet market of the country. India is the top exporter of IT products & has the 3rd largest pharma sector & a fast growing contract research segment.
Establishment of CoEs in various areas; NMITLI initiative on PPP basis. During 2015-16, increase in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applications witnessed at a CAGR of 26.9 per cent, with the number increasing from 262638 to 340000
- PPP for promoting exchange of scientific knowledge & R&D
- Strengthening educational infrastructure
- Amendments to the Patents Act (1970) to make it TRIPS-compliant
- Setting up of NIC in 2010
- Adoption of Science, Technology & Innovation Policy 2013.
Top Five Indian Patentees
- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research
- Samsung R&D Institute India Bangalore Pvt. Ltd.
- Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.
- Indian Institute of Technology (Collective)
- Defence Research & Development Organisation
There is a strong correlation between patent grants and an increase in innovation, technology transfer and economic growth. India is an important market for a huge number of companies, and the impact of government initiatives as well as the covid-19 pandemic on patent filings and eventually on innovation and tech transfer remains to be seen, but the results are keenly awaited.
Between 2014/2015 and 2018/2019, patent examination increased from 22,631 to 85,426 and grants of patents from 5,978 to 15,283.
Thus, the government has consistently taken steps that are designed to enhance the innovation ecosystem and provide a nurturing environment for start-ups as well as to increase foreign companies’ confidence in investing in India.