India patenting activity driven by foreign firms

India patenting activity driven by foreign firms

Summary: Foreign MNCs with R&D facilities in India are playing a key role in generating patents and IP in the country. In order to further drive innovation, the country has been embarking on partnerships with them, according to a Zinnov study.


India significantly trails developed countries, and China, in the amount invested into research and development (R&D) and creating patents, according to consultancy firm Zinnov.

On June 26, Zinnov released the report "Enhancing the IP quotient in MNC R&D centres," which found India spent one percent of GDP (gross domestic product) on innovation, compared to Israel (4.2 percent), Japan (3.7 percent), USA (2.7 percent), and China (2 percent). 
India patenting activity is being driven by foreign firms.

The report said that over the past five years, the U.S. patent and trademark office had granted almost 3,800 patents to multinational corporations' (MNC) Indian R&D centres between 2007 and 2012, representing a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 41 percent. About 70 percent of these patents were generated by the computer technology industry

However, India's average number of patents per 100 R&D employees, a figure referred to as "patent density," is a third of the figure produced by similar facilities in China and Israel. 
As part of government initiatives to foster innovation, various agencies have collaborated with the private sector and entered into joint ventures. For example, the report pointed to a recent partnership between Swedish defence company SAAB and the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics, to develop new electronic warfare systems.
Preeti Anand, engagement manager at Zinnov, expects an improvement in the IP capability of India, where facilities developed globally distributed products such as Adobe's PageMaker 7, Cisco's ASR 901 Cell site router and GE's portable ECG machines.
"The rapidly evolving ecosystem and multiple opportunities in key growth verticals... is expected to accelerate driven by combined efforts of all ecosystem players," Anand said.

Topics: Patents, Outsourcing, India

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  • Patents Are A Drag On Innovation, Not A Spur To It

    Do not confuse patents with innovation. A patent is a Government-granted monopoly which allows the holder to suppress the competition which is so essential to a free market.

    As Thomas Edison said, anything worth achieving is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. A patent only covers the idea, the inspiration. And how can you own an idea? Ideas do not arise in a vacuum, they always copy from previous ideas. Trying to regulate that copying just ends up stifling everybody.

    Don't repeat the mistake of the US, which is steadily sinking into a morass of ever-multiplying patent lawsuits.