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Patents granted in India tripled in last 5 years; still a fraction of China, US

Patents granted in India tripled in last 5 years; still a fraction of China, US
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
31 Jan, 2022

Filing of intellectual property (IP) patents in India rose 30% in the last five years while the number of patents granted during the same period almost tripled, the Economic Survey 2021-22 released on Monday showed.

The survey noted that 58,502 patents were filed in India in 2020-21--up from 45,444 in 2016-17. In comparison, 39,400 patents were filed in 2010-11. Similarly, 28,391 patents were granted in India in 2020-21, up from 9,847 in 2016-17 and 7,509 in 2010-11.

The increase in patent filing boosted India's ranking in the Global Innovation Index from 81 in 2015-16 to 46 in 2021. It also coincides with the recent startup boom in India.

To encourage startups to file more patents, the government provides incentives — startups recognised under the Startup India programme get up to 80% rebate on patent filings and 50% rebate in trademark filings. 

Educational institutes and tech companies with research and development (R&D) centres in India have been active as well. For instance, earlier this month the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur said it filed 107 intellectual property rights (IPRs) in 2021 taking its overall tally of IPRs to 810. 

The college’s collection of IP includes 62 patents, 24 trademark applications, 15 design registrations, four US patent applications and two copyrights. Similarly, the Samsung Research Institute has filed 7500 patents globally from India, out of which 3500 were filed in India in the last 10 years, Aloknath De, the chief technology officer (CTO) of Samsung Research Institute told Mint in November 2021.

To be sure, the Survey pointed out that 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 5.30 lakh patents granted in China and 3.52 lakh patents granted in the USA, according to the Economic Survey. It also noted that 1.79 lakh patents were granted in Japan in 2021 and 1.35 lakh were granted in South Korea, respectively, as of 2020.

The Survey attributed this disparity to the low expenditure on research and development (R&D) in India, which was 0.7% 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. 

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According to the Survey, the average time taken for a final call on granting patents in India in 2020 was 42 months, down from 52 months in 2019 and 64 months in 2017. However, this remained much higher than the 20.8 months taken in the US, 20 months in China and South Korea is 15.8 months and Japan is 15 months.