There are more foreigners than Indians receiving patents in India, prompting the government to say “much needs to be done to encourage more domestic innovations”. The number of patents granted to Indian applicants has steadily decreased from a high of 41 per cent in 2002-03 to a low of 17 per cent in 2009-10, according to an Industry Ministry document.
It further said, “The percentage has fallen secularly between 2005-06 and 2008-09.” The proportion of patents granted to Indians vis-a-vis foreigners showed a drastic drop from 28 per cent in 2009-10 to 17 per cent in 2010-11.
In 2010-11, of the total 7,486 patents granted, Indians could claim only 1,272. On the other hand, foreigners walked away with 6,214 patents.
Japan gave a maximum number of 1,93,449 patents in 2009 followed by the US (1,35,193), China (1,28,489). India granted only 6,168 patents during the year.
In the document, the ministry said: “there are a number of fundamental challenges which need to be addressed to catalyse Indian innovation.”
National Intellectual Property Organisation (NIPO) Director T C James said that the government should carry out a comprehensive study to find out the main reasons for declining numbers of patent in the country.
NIPO is an association of creators, users and owners of Intellectual Property.
Meanwhile, Industry Ministry has floated a discussion paper to examine the viability of introducing utility models into the Intellectual Property Rights regime.
Utility models are a framework for providing limited protection to those innovations, which may not meet the standards of the Patents Act and yet are commercially exploitable and socially relevant.
The patent protection for the home-grown products will be technically called the “Utility Models”. Such a practice is prevalent in 55 countries like China, Japan and Germany.