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Patent Filing Rises As India Climbs Up The Global Innovation Index

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New Delhi: The Union government’s focus on start-ups and research and development in private and government agencies has started showing results. For the first time in the last 11 years, the number of patents filed by resident Indians at the Indian patent office has overtaken the number of patents filed by non-resident Indians.

Of the total 19,746 patent applications filed at the Indian patent office between January and March 2022, 10,706 patent applications were filed by resident Indians. The number of patent filings in India over the last 10 years has also been increasing. The data shows that patent filing by resident Indians has increased by more than 50% between 2014 and 2020, from a little over 10,000 patent filings in 2014, the number of patent applications from resident Indians has increased to more than 23,000 in 2020.

The increase in patent filing by Indians has pushed up India’s rank much higher in the Global Innovation ranking index, indicating that research and development in India has started to pick up with much fervour and pace after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for Start-Up India and his focus on inculcating the culture of research and innovation in both private and government sectors.

From the 62nd rank that India held in the Global Innovation Index in 2018, it moved to the top 50 by 2019 and in 2021, India ranked 46th globally in the Global Innovation Index. India also ranked number one for innovation in the Central and Southern Asian region, followed by Iran and Kazakhstan. The Global Innovation Index report of 2021 says that India along with Turkey, Vietnam and Philippines is rising in the innovation index every year. The report says, “…India from 62nd to 46th; and the Philippines from 91st to 51st. It is noteworthy that these are particularly large economies, which have the potential to radically change the global innovation landscape for good.”

The report further stated that “India has also been portrayed as successful in developing sophisticated services that are technologically dynamic and can be traded internationally (Aghion et al., 2021). It continues to lead the world in the ICT services exports indicator (1st) and holds top ranks in other indicators, such as Domestic industry diversification (12th) and Graduates in science and engineering (12th).”

The last five years’ data from the Economic Survey also shows that India’s patent filing has been constantly on the rise. Between 2016 and 2022, a rise of 30% in patent filings has been noted by the patent office in India. From 45,444 patent filings in 2016-2017, patent filings in India have increased to 66,440 patents being filed in the country’s patent office in 2021-22. Compare this with the time period in 2010-2011 when just a little over 39,000 patents were being filed in the country.

Not only filing, even the grant for patents has also increased, indicating that the country’s bright minds are indulging themselves in innovating every year in science and technology. A five-time increase in the number of patents granted in India has also been noted in the last seven years. During 2014-15, around 6,000 patents were granted by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, now compare this with 2021-22 where more than 28,300 patents were granted by the same office.

Government of India through the Ministry of Commerce and Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has the mission to improve the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) regime in the country to boost India’s place to the top 25 in the Global Innovation Index by 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on many occasions has said that the growth story of India depends on its achievement in the science and technology sector. While addressing a gathering of scientists in 2020, the Prime Minister had said, “My motto for young scientists in this country has been to innovate, patent, produce and prosper.”

The Union government is also focusing on promoting more innovation and helping start-ups and small institutions to focus on creating and developing something new. For the promotion of the IPR regime, the government is also giving a 10% rebate for online filing of patents. Moreover, for start-ups, educational institutions and small entities, the Indian government has decided to give an 80% concession on patent fees. The reduction in time limit on the decision to grant or deny a patent and reducing red tape has also led to increased filing of patents in India. The healthy culture of patent filing is expected to increase, with more start-ups going in for patenting their innovations and designs.

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