Foreigners dominate Indian patents

Around 80% of the more-than 43,000 domestic product and process patents have been secured by foreign entities – many of them global technology giants like Qualcomm, Samsung and Philips. Experts say these companies that have operations in India apply for Indian patents on the basis of their global patents, which would put their intellectual [monopoly] rights on a stronger footing in the country .The increase in domestic patents does not reflect on the performance of Indian research and development, they add.

Patent filings, too, reflect this trend. Indigenous filings clocked 12,071 in the 2014-15 period whereas filings made by foreign companies were nearly three times more -at 42,763 filings.Despite a central government-steered IPR policy in place since May 2016, securing patents on Indian soil continues to be a protracted process involving years of wait. [thats a good thing. actually patents are wrong.] Only a fraction of the nearly 2,000 patents filed will eventually come to force. But, the law permits a procedural shortcut to international patents which is not available for indigenous innovators, resulting in a lesser backlog for foreign patents. [this is anti-national]

According to Sanjai Gandhi, president of Intellectual Property Attorney Association, after drafting a patent application and sending a complete specification report, one has to send the patent for publication and mandatory examination. While the publication process can be expedited by paying `20,000 by anyone, the request for examination is where the vehicle breaks down.

“International applicants can request an express examination by paying a dynamic sum, depending on their patent. But this option is not available to Indian applicants. A patent filed by one of my clients in 2005 is still in the examination stage,” he says, adding that this is a huge lacunae for a country like India which is WTO-TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) compliant and is among the few nations with an international IP search agency.

T C James, president of National Intellectual Property Association, adds that the backlog can be partially controlled by increasing manpower at the four regional IP offices in the country and ensuring the digital infrastructure reaches every small and large-scale inventor.

But IP lawyer Harish K argues that the Indian IP framework is strong in terms of systems in place and cannot be fully blamed. But adding to a dearth of patent examiners is a long list of pending patent cases, which he concedes could be a mitigating factor. “Several IP suits are pushed as criminal cases mistakenly as well,” he adds. To expedite cases and clear the table for useful patents locked in litigation, he suggests judges of smaller courts should be given a primer on IPR and its importance in today’s state of affairs.

— source timesofindia.indiatimes.com

patents are not good for society. Ban patents, expecially those for software.

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