India's Lava aims for 100 mobile app patents

Mobile devices company looks to develop a century of patents in the next 2 to 3 years in areas such as education, entertainment and productivity to grow its revenue base.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Indian mobile devices company Lava International says it hopes to file 100 patents for mobile applications in education, entertainment and productivity fields over the next 2 to 3 years, as it seeks to grow its portfolio and revenue base.

In an Economic Times report Sunday, SN Rai, the company's co-founder and director, said: "We have realized just by selling handsets it is not possible to maintain growth momentum. Innovation in product is key to survival. Our wishlist is to make a century of patents in the next 2 to 3 years."

The company also has plans to increase revenue from INR 10 billion (US$181.6 million) to INR 14 billion (US$254.2 million) by the next financial year, he added.

According to Rai, Lava earmarked some INR 500 million (US$9 million) to invest in building up its patent portfolio, and will focus on developing algorithms and applications. "We have already filed two patents for algorithms but they have not been granted yet. Lava recently launched music fusion application which can play music and video in any format. We want to have an IPR (intellectual property right) for the algorithm of this application."

Lava is doubling up capacity at its research and development (R&D) centers in India and China in terms of headcount, facility and application developed, the executive noted without disclosing figures.

Lava recently expanded its range of devices from mobile phones to tablets, and said it sells about 25,000 tablets monthly. "This is just to test the market. We are working on massive plans to revamp our tablet portfolio. At present, we are in the planning stage," according to Rai.

The company also formed a consortium to develop educational content with publisher Tata McGraw Hill and iProf, a company that does tablet-based digital learning. The consortium will invest around INR 250 million (US$4.5 million) over the next 2 to 3 years to digitize content such as Indian fairy tales and myths, he added.

Lava aims to enter the enterprise space as well, through business software integration. "We will start mainly by focusing on secure communication like e-mail security. Simultaneously, we will start working on productivity software like ERP (enterprise resource planning) and others," Rai said.

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