Hi dear ones,

PATENT FILINGS IN INDIA

The Indian Patent Office is administered by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM). This is a subordinate office of the Indian government and administers the Indian law of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

The total number of patent filings by residents in India per million population was 3.40 in 2004-05 as compared to the world average of 250.72  worked out on the basis of the world population (6377.6 million) as per data given in the  State of World Population 2004: United Nations Population Fund Report and the number of patents filed worldwide during 2004 (15,99,000) as per data given in World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Patent Report: Statistics on Worldwide Patent Activity, 2006 Edition. 

            The number of patents in force in India in 2004 was 6,406, while it was 1,82,385 in China. The world average of patents in force in 2004 was 846.71 worked out on the basis of the world population (6377.6 million) as per data given in the State of World Population 2004: United Nations Population Fund Report and the number of patents in force worldwide during 2004 (5.4 million) as per data given in World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Patent Report: Statistics on Worldwide Patent Activity, 2006 Edition.

            There were a total of about 5.6 million patents in force worldwide in 2005 as per World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Patent Report: Statistics on Worldwide Patent Activity, 2007 Edition. However, this number includes patents obtained in different countries for the same invention also. Therefore, it will not be feasible to draw a conclusion on the proportion of patents in force in India vis-à-vis those in force worldwide. However, the number of Patents in India in force was 6857 in 2005. 

Patent: Some Details

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a country to an inventor, allowing the inventor to exclude others from making, using or selling his or her invention in that country during the life of the patent.  It does NOT give the inventor the right to use or “practice” the invention, and thus the right is subject to any prior rights that others may have to related inventions.  So for example, if you have a patent on a “vessel to hold coffee” and I have a patent on a “handle for a vessel”, then I can prevent you from putting a handle on a coffee cup and you can prevent me from attaching a cup to my handle.

A patent is issued to the individual inventor and not to a company, although it is typical practice to have employees assign inventions to their employer. Patent protection is available for any product, process or design that meets certain requirements of novelty, non-obviousness and utility.

The economic importance of patents

Today’s economy is becoming increasingly knowledge-based and intellectual property in the form of patents plays a vital role in this growth. Patents can encourage innovation and economic growth under certain conditions and hamper it under others. The impact of patents on innovation and economic performance is so complex that a fine-tuned patent system is crucial to ensure maximum benefit for a country’s firms and its overall economy.

In an ideal world, the more patents filed, the higher the level of innovation in a country. This in turn leads to economic growth and more money invested in research and development – a virtuous circle which can only exist when there is a sufficiently high entry level for patents.

Because large firms can easily absorb the costs connected with the patent process, their application strategy has significantly changed in recent years. Trying to protect small improvements, they are filing several applications for any given invention.

Impact on large companies:

Today, the number of high-quality patents – from the point of view of substance – held by a company increasingly defines its overall value. The stronger a company’s patent portfolio, the more it is worth on the stock market, and the higher the price a competitor must pay in the case of a takeover.

Impact on research institutions:

More and more public research institutions and universities have started patenting their inventions, enhancing technology diffusion and the transfer of knowledge from universities to the public. (It’s not uncommon for start-ups in sectors such as bio-technology to have their roots in public research institutions.)

While defensive patenting may hamper innovation, some of the key challenges lie in the nature of the patent system itself: While it protects innovation, it also creates de facto monopolies. In a development especially true for emerging technologies, patents can hinder innovation when essential knowledge and foundational inventions are overly protected: This may discourage follow-on inventors if the holder of a patent for an essential technology refuses access to others under reasonable conditions. The EPO aims to ensure there is always a clear “inventive step” when publishing patents in order to minimize the impact of strategic patenting. In developing countries, there is still a lack of awareness that intellectual property can be a driving force for economic growth.

On basis of above information can we say that we Indian’s are either careless or ignorant about patent filing !