India has been leapfrogging on innovation parameters in the past few years. According to India Patents Report published by Nasscom on April 25, Indian companies have filed 1,38,000 tech patents in India and over 9,500 patents in the U.S. from 2015-to 2021.
More than 60% of these patents were filed by Indian companies and start-ups while 17% of the tech patents were filed by individual inventors/Academia Research outfits.
As per the data from the World Intellectual Property Organisation, 50 percent of all international patents were filed by Asian countries. This signifies the rise of Asia as an innovation hub, a domain which was traditionally dominated by Europe and North America. India and China were the only middle-income countries to be ranked among the top 15 innovation hubs.
Around 21% of the tech patents were related to software applications and healthcare and medical devices and other leading segments. India is a leading exporter of IT services and healthcare products to countries like the United States and many Indian companies like to directly file patents there in order to get easy access to the exports market.
The NASSCOM report comes as good news for the Indian innovation ecosystem. “The study marks the start of our IP charter for FY2023, which will be followed by a deep dive analysis into the tech patents filed in India,” said the apex body in a statement.
India is ranked 46th among the 132 economies on the Global Innovation Index, improving its ranking by 35 points from 81 in 2014. The GII report stated, “India (at 46) moves further ahead, by two spots (48 in GII 2020), after making it into the top 50 last year. It takes second place in the lower-middle-income group. India held the third position in its income group in 2019 and 2020, having entered the top three in 2019.”
Additionally, the report emphasized that the country leads the world in the information and communication technology services exports indicator. Moreover, it also stands in a good position in other indicators such as domestic industry diversification (12) and graduates in science and engineering (12).
People like Bill Gates have been praising India’s great strides in innovation. Bill Gates said, “If people are going to study in one country right now, other than China, I’d say they should look at India.” He further continued, “Things are really exploding there and innovation around that system is phenomenal.”
The Patents office under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has taken many steps including a 3-fold increase in augmentation of manpower, slashing of patent filing fees for startups, MSMEs, and expedited processing of patents filed by women.
Moreover, many laws were streamlined and brought under one umbrella body in order to facilitate a seamless experience for the innovators. The whole system of filing patents was moved online and the patent examiners have been asked to work through video conferencing rather than making physical visits.
These steps have led to exponential growth in the filing of patents, trademarks, and geographical indications. In recent decades, India led the global markets with great innovations in Information Technology (IT), biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. On the IT front, Indians dominate the innovation ecosystem with the majority of top executives in Silicon Valley being Indians. The economic liberalization unleashed the potential of Indian entrepreneurs and now the country is leading the global economy with innovative business practices.