Protection of Intellectual Property In India: Current State of Affairs and A Guide to filing Patents
• By protecting the ideas and innovations of creators and businesses, these legal protections incentivize investment in new and exciting technologies and products and ensure that the benefits of such investments are shared fairly among all parties.
• The statistics highlight the growing importance of IPR in India and the country’s efforts to strengthen its IP regime, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and contribute to the global economy.
• Be it established companies or start-ups, or educational institutes, applications to own the IPR to innovations are being pushed from all forums, indicating a strong culture of innovation in the country.
Let’s talk about intellectual property rights and how they play a crucial role in today’s economy. These rights are designed to protect the creative and innovative work of individuals and organizations, from music and software to industrial designs and pharmaceuticals. By granting exclusive rights to the creators of original works, intellectual property rights incentivize investment in research and development by ensuring that those who create new ideas and products can profit from their efforts. Details and features of each of these rights can be read in our newsletter post.
Although these rights can be a source of controversy, with some arguing that they can stifle innovation, others believe that they are essential for promoting innovation and encouraging investment in research and development. By protecting the ideas and innovations of creators and businesses, these legal protections incentivize investment in new and exciting technologies and products and ensure that the benefits of such investments are shared fairly among all parties. In a recently concluded workshop on IPR by AIC BIMTECH, Mr. Saurabh Trivedi, Founder of IP Samadhan, said, “Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is one of the key elements that differentiate a brand and create a barrier for other competitors that enables the company to stand out in the market.”
The Government of India has been actively promoting IPR in recent years, launching several initiatives and policies, including the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy, Start-up India initiative, Make in India initiative, and the establishment of the National Innovation Foundation. These efforts have yielded impressive results, with the number of patent filings climbing from 42,763 in 2014-15 to 66,440 in 2021-22, and the number of domestic patent filings surpassing international patent filings for the first time in 11 years. Additionally, the number of patent and trademark applications filed by startups has significantly increased, and India’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index has improved to 40th in 2022. These statistics highlight the growing importance of IPR in India and the country’s efforts to strengthen its IP regime, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and contribute to the global economy.
If you are an innovator who wants to file a patent application in India, there are a few steps you need to follow.
First off, you need to conduct a patent search to make sure that your invention isn’t already patented. You can do this online or with the help of a professional patent attorney or agent. Once you’ve done that, you need to draft the patent application in a specific format as per the Indian Patent Act. Again, you can seek help from a professional for this step.
Next, you can file the patent application either online or offline.
You’ll need to submit several application forms, including Form 1 for the patent grant application, Form 2 for the patent specification, and Form 5 for the declaration of invention. There are other forms you may need to submit depending on your circumstances, so make sure to check out the website http://www.ipindia.nic.in/form-and-fees.htm for more info.
After you’ve filed the application,
it will be published in the official patent journal after 18 months. If you want it to be published earlier, you can submit a request for early publication (Form 9). You’ll also need to request examination of the application within 48 months of filing it by submitting Form 18 with an option of expediting the process by submitting Form 18 (A). The patent office will then issue an examination report, which you’ll need to respond to if there are any objections or rejections. Finally, if everything checks out, the patent office will issue a patent grant that is valid for 20 years from the date of filing.
There are many interesting examples of companies and organizations leveraging their intellectual property to create value. Be it established companies or start-ups, or educational institutes, applications to own the IPR to innovations are being pushed from all forums, indicating a strong culture of innovation in the country. Tata Consultancy Services is one of the largest patent filers in the country with over 6922 patents filed globally as of September 2022. Biocon, has a portfolio of over 984 patents and 448 trademark registrations globally. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has a total of 4592 patents globally. IIT Delhi has filed over 1,200 patents and has established several technology startups based on its research. IISc filed for 585 patents in 2022 alone, at a rate of more than 3 patents every 2 days. Several start-ups like Wow! Momo, Inito, Bugworks, Ather Energy and Agnikul Cosmos are using IPR to safeguard their innovations and create value.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, an artist, or simply a consumer, understanding the importance of intellectual property rights is crucial for navigating the complexities of the modern economy. While India still faces challenges related to piracy and enforcement of IP rights, the government and industry have taken and continue to take steps to address these issues and create a favorable environment for innovation and IP protection.