DeepTech Start-ups NASSCOM Report on Patent Trends in India

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In digitally forward world, intellectual property (IP) rights, particularly patents have gained vital significance, serving as the key indicators of innovation capability and the nation’s economic progression. To mark the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, nasscom, launched the seventh edition of its annual ‘Patenting Trends in India’ report spotlighting strategies to foster an IP-led digital economy. The report offers insights on key global patent filing trends and deep dives into the landscape of patent filings in India providing a nuanced understanding of the strengths, challenges, and recommendations crucial for shaping its evolution in the future.

 Mirroring global trends, in FY2023, India witnessed 83K patents being filed, marking an annual growth rate of 24.6%, highest since the last two decades. The number of patents granted also witnessed significant growth rising over 2X between FY2019-FY2023. This trend is expected to increase significantly with over 100K patents granted between 15th March 2023 to 14th March 2024.

Over the past decade, the proportion of patents filed by residents (primary filer based in India) has doubled, climbing from 33.6% of total filings in fiscal year 2019 to more than 50% in fiscal year 2023. This significant increase reflects a growing focus and heightened awareness of intellectual property rights in the country. Educational Institutes have been a key driver to this growth.

In line with the rapid technological advancements and the emergence of interconnected global economies, India’s emphasis on innovation is burgeoning. The filing of over 900 patents since 2008 by leading Indian deep-tech start-ups coupled with the submission of 32K Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in India by other countries stood as a testament to this increasing focus. Amongst the top application areas, Healthcare related patents primarily around medical imaging, diagnosing, report generation and testing saw the maximum applications, followed by Automation/Software Development and Retail/Ecommerce. Artificial Intelligence saw maximum patents filed in areas of image processing, NLP, and Predictive modelling, while Gen AI, Medical Data Processing and Cognitive computing are the key emerging areas.

Debjani Ghosh, President nasscom said, “The surge in patent filings within the last few years is a clear indication of India’s growing innovation prowess, particularly in areas like artificial intelligence. To further enhance domestic patent activity, collaborations among key stakeholders are essential for fostering and increasing awareness of intellectual property rights.”

Over the last two years, the patent filing process in India has undergone significant improvement. However, India’s share in patents filed globally is just above 2%, implying the need for more focused initiatives in this direction. To solidify India’s position as a prominent innovation player, the report offers various recommendations. These include simplification of the patent filing procedure and appointment of more domain and technical experts at the patent office, establishing clear and consistent guidelines for examining the patentability of computer programs, revising the list of attorneys on the IP portal to highlight their technical proficiency across domains, among others.