Patents crucial to bridge tech gap for India Startups

By Srikanth
21 Min Read
Patents crucial to bridge tech gap for India Startups 1

If you even create any form of intellectual property, which also takes advantage of the Indian IP protection laws. This is even sometimes to make sure that your property is not even stolen or misused by any others. Trademark law also protects the marks uniquely associated with your company. Let’s say, for example, your logo design. The copyright law, on the other hand, many of the times, covers any of the libraries or even the artistic work that you create. This also includes films and software. Is your Intellectual property taking the form of innovation or invention? Understanding the ins and outs of India patent protection laws is a primary key. Equally essential is to understand the process of patent registration.


The government has also simplified the rules for the patents which is being filed by the small entities, government and women entities, and even the incentivized Indian companies who apply for the licenses abroad.

The department for the promotion of Industry and with the Internal Trade has also notified the rules further to the amend the patents rules, 2003 and expedited the exam a patients if the applicants is a small startup entity, which is an intuition established by the Central Government, provincial or State Act, which is even allowed to be owned or controlled by the government, as an intuition wholly or subsidiary financed by the government.

They have even expected the exam of patents to foster the creativity in startups and help the government commercialize its patients by charging the royalty, said the intellectual rights as patents.

The department has also incentivized the Indian companies to file the patents abroad. It has done even away with the freedom which is being required to be paid for the international electronic application under the patent cooperation treaty and the transmission with the world intellectual property organization.

In this world of modern innovation and the latest technology, India has an old reputation into this: as it remains a minnow when it comes to the patent’s rights. If more than 600000 applications were filed by America oneself and more than twice that number in China by the end of 2017, then in India, there were only 46600, and patent grants came to just around 12000 in a country of the 1.40 billion people. In a nondescript building on a congested and narrow lane in the Central Mumbai, the Office of the Controller General of the Patents, Design and Tarde Marks is bent on changing this. It wants to make the filings patents much cheaper and granting patents much faster, which it hopes will also result in a higher number of applications.

Well, as of now, this is not that much easy as we are reading it. The path to patents as paved with the funding and research. While on the other hand some of the Indian companies which include the Universities, startups and research institutes need to direct their lots of attention with respect to the generating some of the more patents if India has to emerge as a hub of innovations and inventiveness, it also calls for some of the increased spends on research and development.

That, though, may not be easy.

Around India spent just 0.8% of its Gross Domestic Product in the year 2016-2017 on Research and Development. Moreover, in Japan, China, the US spent 3.2%, 2.1%, and 2.8%, respectively. In the year 2017, according to the report, which has been revealed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. India wants to more than double up its R&D expenses to at least 2% of GDP by the end of 2022.

Forget about the funding, even the awareness about the filing patents is lot of low in India, reveals the Shekhar C Mande, who is the director at the general of the council of scientific and industrial research, which also sometimes topped the list of the Indian patent grantees in the year 2018-2019 with more than 150 patents.

India has still not woken up fully fledge to the significance and essential play of the Intellectual property Rights, which is moreover known by the name as patents and their commercial part of implications. The foreign applicants are also dominating patent filings and grants in India: as they filed 2/3 of the patent application in the year 2018-2019, and got the four or fights of awards, according to the report revealed by the Office of th4 Controller General of Patents, Trade Marks and Design. In India, the famous chip market, Qualcomm, topped both the grants and patent filings in the year 2018-2019. It made around 1600 applicants, more than six times the depositions of the TATA Consultancy Service, which is the top Indian company on the list.

Qualcomm was granted with the 405 Indian patents in the year 2018-19, which is much more and four times the patents assigned to the state-owned Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited, the Indian company with the most patents grants last fiscal.

Niti Dewan, which is a patent attorney, revealed that the Indian companies look at the patents as a cost center. Still, when we do workshops on the patent’s rights and copyright, it is mostly the legal and the R&D teams that attend and not the senior management. Qualcomm and BHEL did not even respond to the questions, and even TCS declined to comment on this, which cites the silent period before the end of its quarterly result.

In India, the Patents are governed by the Indian Patents Act, 1970. And one of the most significant changes which happened with some of the amendments in the early within the 2000s to make the law compliant with the agreement on the trade which is much more related aspects of the intellectual property rights. India even increased the term of the patent from 5-7 years for some of the categories and 14 for some other to a uniform for around 20 years and did away with the help of a provision that even allowed India as a generic pharmaceutical company to reverse engineer drugs which are patented by the global companies.

Nowadays comparing the India with the patent laws with all those other countries, according to the spokesperson for the Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which has around 700 patents across the globe, which includes the 20 in India, reveals that India does not allow an extension of a patent term, which is also more likely to be in the Europe and US. India patent law also prevents the engineering, which even refers to be as the attempts by some of the pharma companies to tweak their patented products or some of the processes to seek new patents to extend their monopoly. It was also on the basis of this that the Supreme Court in the year 2019 denied the Novartis AG a license for the drug of its cancer Gleevec. India has also enabled the gagster resolution of the IPR cases, which even brings them under the commercial courts with the help of a 2015 law.

 Creators can patent a similar innovation in numerous nations dependent on its business potential in those business sectors. One can look for synchronous assurance in more than 150 countries by documenting a Patent Cooperation Treaty application, which gives organizations and research foundations 30 months to record patent applications in countries of their decision. Be that as it may, recording licenses abroad requires deep pockets. For example, in India, one can get a patent, which is legitimate for a long time from the date of recording, for as meager as Rs 20,000, while an abroad application keeps running into lakhs of rupees. Indian occupants recorded around 13,000 licenses elsewhere and almost 15,000 at home in 2017, the most recent year for which comprehensive information is accessible with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Publications Over Patents

Patents crucial to bridge tech gap for India Startups 2

Some other issue is that the researchers in India even tend to focus much more on publishing their work in the journals instead of patenting them. Research papers are much more counterproductive to licensing, revealed the Geetha Manjunath, who is the CEO and founder of the Niramaii Health Analytics, which is a deep tech startup. Once a scientist published for her beings’ findings, then she only has 12 months to file a patent, but it is also sometimes too risky since the research paper can, in some of the cases, which can also be used to reject her patent application. Whether or not you should even publish your findings or even at the time of file a patent application, which moreover sometimes also depends on whether your research can even lead to a product. It is always much better to file a provisional app; location before you even publish it, revealed by the Kishore Sreenivasan, who is the head of the CSIR unit for the research and development of the information products.

 One of the main reasons with the help of which the researchers are so much shy of patenting their ideas in which India is the amount of time which is being taken to get a patent. In the year 2017, India, on average, took around the 64 months to grant a license, which as per the compared within the 22 months in the China and European Patent Office and 24 months in America, according to the report of the WIPO.

The issue with the delay in a grant is that the technology might also actually move on or even become one of the less relevant by the time the patent is being granted, revealed the Velusamy R, who is the chief product development of the automotive division of the Mahindra and Mahindra. As of the year 2019 of March, the company had also done 61 patents in India and 16 abroad.

The OP Gupta, who is the India controller General of the Patents, Trade Marks and Design, revealed that it has been speeding up the entire process for the grant period of 2015 with the 84 months. In the coming next two years, we are also looking to plan it to bring it down to 36 months.

Speeding Up

India inspected more than 85,400 patent applications in 2018-19, around multiple times the number in 2015-16. This has been made conceivable to a limited extent by an equal increment in the name of inspectors in a similar period to 670. “My office is overwhelmed with assessment reports,” says Dewan. What’s more, since 2016, new companies have needed to pay just 20% of the patent-documenting charges. Gupta accepts that gratitude to these changes, the portion of Indian inhabitant’s incomplete patent applications in the nation has ascended from a fifth in 2014-15 to a third in 2018-19. “By March 2021, it should contact half.”

Startups can even file a patent application for as low as INR 1600 and also request a fast track exam for the INR 8000. As of now, in the month of May 2019, for the 512 startups that had brought which had a sought with an expedited examination, the applications of the 453 were assessed and 151 patents which were being granted, according to the report.

MicroGo LLP’s, which is a Chennai based company patent, was one of those which is 151. The company which is founded by the Rachna Dave in the year 2016, MicroGo, filed a provisional patent application that year for technology to even release the active molecule into the water or the air with the help of a polymer. MicroGgo continued to be its research and eve filed a request for the expedited exam in late 2018 and even got its patent granted within 101 days. MicroGo products are also sued to purify the water or even to quantize some of the surgical instruments without power or water, among some other applications.

The cost of a patent filing in India is even certainly not an impediment for startups and businesses. But the time which is being required to perfect a patentable idea is. Dave, which is being one of the three investors listed on the MicroGo patent, says the India billion-dollar startups are in businesses such as the food delivery and eCommerce, where the revenue also keeps on increasing with the model that is being independent on the reach of their offerings and sales volume, and not on the patents.

Arpita Mukherjee, which is a professor at the Indian Council for the research for International Economic Relations, attributes the lack of the patents in the startup, which is being into the community to focus on customizing ideas from some other countries to the Indian needs. That could even change with the deep technology startups whose very business is predicated on the patent software or hardware, or even the combination of both.

Niramai, for example, has even filed a patent in India for its software that also analyzes temperature variants in the breast, which is being obtained via a thermal camera, detecting cancer. But some of the CEO of the top companies that are Geetha Manjunath revealed that strategy is to file first in America. Investors want to look at the US patents and the rigors of the US patent system.

One of the key factors concerning the driving patent filings in the US is industry funding of the research in the universities, which even totaled $4.2 billion in the year 2016, according to the report of the National Science Foundation. The benefits of the industry-academia collaboration cannot also be overstated; Sandford University was also able to be a part of the instrumental in the rise of the Silicon Valley.

In India, this is, to a great extent, limited to chief establishments like the IITs. “Organizations are quick to possess IPs, so they come to us,” says Milind D Atrey, a senior member of R&D at IIT-Bombay, whose R&D subsidizing for 2018-19 was Rs 335 crore. Around 80% of that originated from the administration and the rest from the private area. IIT-Bombay documented 98 licenses, almost a 6th recorded by all IITs in India in 2018-19.

As significant as the number of licenses is the nature of those licenses and their business potential. Around 14% of CSIR’s grants are authorized. “The objective of documenting a patent is to, in the end, market it. When a patent is in truth, we check whether there are organizations keen on permitting it,” says Mande. The CSIR has a business improvement office that takes a shot at commercializing the licenses recorded by its 38 labs.

With the advancement in the US and China are making much more about AI, healthcare technology, communications, India even cannot afford to sit on the sidelines, and the only way which leads for the country to get in on within action part that is to ramp up its effort of the R&D and engender a culture of patenting.

How to directly Apply for a Patent in India as of now?

The patent process in India starts with an application and request for the examination. You file both these with the Indian patent office. On filling, you will even be going to receive a first examination report. This report may raise a number of a wide range of objections. You have around 12 months to respond to these objections and comply with any requirement which is based out in the report. Apart from this, others may file s statement of the formal opposition against your patent application at the time of six months of the period. Let’s say, for example, if someone feels that you are infringing on a patent they already hold.

If you did not respond to the first examination report, the Patent office believes that you have abandoned your request for a patent. But if you even comply with the requirements and also respond to all the objections adequately, the Patent office grans you as a patent. It even publishes notice of your patient in the Patent Office Journal. All your rights have also been as a patent holder then go into the effect.

Patent laws and requirements are even subject to change. Moreover, it is often a good idea to consult with a patent attorney. This is to make sure that you have all your paperwork in order. Once you have a patient, then you will also get an assured that your intellectual property is appropriately protected.

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