With an increase in intellectual property (IP) filing activity in the world, India has witnessed significant growth in patent, industrial design and trademark filings in 2018.
India saw over 20% growth in trademark filing, whereas in respect of industrial design filing activity, it witnessed a 13.6% rise.
While patent applications worldwide grew by 5.2 %, India patent filings rose to 7.5% to 3,473. The country also reduced the number of pending application by 25% in 2018 compared to 2017.
India emerged as top tenth nation in the ranking of the total (resident and abroad) IP filing activity by origin, revealed World Intellectual Property Indicators 2019, which published such data for 49 countries.
The global growth in IP filings was driven by China, which accounts for over 50% IP filings including patent, trademarks and design. China received about 160,400 more filings in 2018 in comparison to the previous year.
Globally patent filings exceeded 3.3 million, representing a 5.2% growth in comparison to 2017 figures. Trademark filing activity totalled 14.3 million, up 15.5%. Industrial design filing activity amounted to 1.3 million.
Second rank nation – the US witnessed a 1.6% fall in patent filings last year, which is the first decline for the country in the previous decade. Though it saw trademark filing activity rise by 4.3 %.
Asia has been emerging as the global hub for intellectual property applications, as per Francis Gurry, WIPO director-general.
In India, domestic filing for patents has increased from 22% in 2013-14 to 34% in 2018-19.
The IP filings have seen a significant rise in IT, science and computer science filings. Startups and small firms IP filings saw over 200% rise to 511 from 160 in 2016-17, according to the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) data.
According to list unveiled by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Design & Trademarks, IT juggernauts Wipro and TCS were ranked 1st and 2nd respectively while seven-year-old startup Hike stood at the third spot in terms of patent filing in the field of IT.
Kavin Bharti Mittal-led firm has not yet disclosed reasons for filing 66 patents, though it has been extensively working in the field of research and development including Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Vision and Social Network Analysis.
The firm has recently launched the Hike Patent Program to incentivises its employees with rewards and grants besides providing legal and market guidance to prospective patent filers.
Last month, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had proposed reduction for Patent filing fees for MSMEs and startups to Rs 1,600 from Rs 4,000.
The rise in IP filing in India will boost innovation and research and development (R&D) activity in the country. India needs to push it further to be among the top five nations in the world. With over 60% of youth constituting India populations and increasing usage of technology and the internet, this should not be a hurdle.