The IP transactions in India are at its peak. Numerous worldwide patent filings are recorded in the past 2017 year. From pharma giants to the largest automobile companies, information technology to the electronic companies, all have established IP portfolio worldwide. From the recent survey it can be seen that the foreign companies have huge footprint in the Indian IP landscape. The top applicants for patents filings in India are QUALCOMM, General motors, Phillips, LG, Samsung etc. With an increase demand in research and development globally, the foreign companies turned themselves towards need of IP protection. This trend of IP protection is not only adopted by the foreign companies but many Indian Startup and Technology Incubators have sown interest in Patent protection. Patent filings by the Indian applicants in every year are growing with a rate of about 11.6%, where as foreign applicant filing growing at a rate of about 31.7% since 2016.
The patent filed by the Indian firms lag behind substantially as compared to foreign counterparts. We believe that the trend in patent filing by the Indian companies is not a good signal to advance our Indian economy, however with over a span of time ratio of Indian filing will compete with the foreign filings. In India, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has topped the list of holders of Indian patents.
This infographic gives you a snapshot of key applicants13
The statistical data published by WIPO disclose that the number of patent applications filed in India has witnessed a steady growth and has plateaued in the recent past. Pharmaceutical patents are ranked second with respect to the volume of applications but are still a fraction of pharmaceutical patents filed worldwide. A study of the patenting trends is important to evaluate the current process in the Industry. In terms of pharmaceuticals, it is important as the industry is focused on manufacturing life-saving drugs which are often patent protected, providing the innovator an opportunity to commercially exploit their research products without any competitor product during the life-time of the patent. The Indian companies though, are leaders in the generic drug industry, wherein they enter the market after the life time of a patent, but it still provides them an opportunity to exploit the market by adding certain unique features to the drug product and exercise monopoly over that particular feature. An economical process for making a new drug formulation, change in dosage regimen and new form of drug delivery are all examples of patents that bestows commercial advantage to a patent holder ever after the expiry of the innovator patent.
Indian Patent Office act as International Searching Authority (ISA)
When an international patent application is made through Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), International searches are carried out by an International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examination Authority as the case may be, by either a National Office or an intergovernmental organization designated by the PCT for this purpose. The search includes establishing of documentary search reports on prior arts with respect to inventions which are the subject of applications and other related functions. The International Searching Authority makes a list of prior art documents which they consider destroys the patentability of the invention claimed in the PCT International application. At present, there are 22 International Searching Authorities designated by the PCT which carries out searches for PCT International application. An agreement between the Indian Patent Office and the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization in relation to functioning of the Indian Patent Office as an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examination Authority came into force on October 15, 2013. Therefore, the Indian Patent Office acts as a receiving office of PCT International applications.
Indian Patent Office growing fast as an International Searching Authority
In 2017, Indian Patent Office has occupied a place in the top 10 International Searching Authorities among the 22 International Searching Authorities in terms of receiving request for International searches for PCT International applications. In a short period of four years the Indian Patent Office as an International Searching Authority has received 3150 request for International searches and it has examined 2904 out of them. These requests have been from all over the world and not only Indian applicants as it is not mandatory for Indian applicants to select Indian Patent Office as their Searching Authority. This is a great achievement by the Indian Patent Office in a very short period of time.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.