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India needs patent-friendly environment, says Kiran Mazumdar

India needs patent-friendly environment, says Kiran Mazumdar

Kiran Mazumdar Shiw, Biocon chairperson, spoke Monday about the low number Indian patents as cited in the Economic Survey 2021-22. She stated that India needs more investment and a patent friendly environment. 

India must invest in R&D and have a patent-friendly environment to become the next Bioinnovation hub. Economic Survey 2021-22 points out low patents in comparison to China and the USA. Just 0.7% of GDP spends on R&D. Shaw also spoke out in a tweet about the delays and complexity of processes. 

This is in line with the Economic Survey that was presented to the parliament earlier in day. It stated that increasing the number and speed of application processes can be steps to increase the number patents granted in India. 

According to the survey, there has been an increase in filing and granting patents in India.

The number and quality of patents filed in India has increased from 39.400 in 2010-11 to 45.444 in 2016-17, to 58.502 in 2020-21. Patents granted in India have increased from 7,509 in 2010-11, to 9,847 (2016-17), and further to 28,391 for 2020-21.

The percentage of Indian residents who submitted total applications has increased from 20% to 30% in 2010-11 to around 30% and 40% in 2016-17 and 2020-21. India’s ranking on Global Innovation Index has risen 35 ranks, from 81st in 2015-16, to 46th in 2021.

This is a remarkable achievement, but the number granted in India is still far less than those granted in China, Japan, Korea, or the USA,” the survey revealed. 

It added that the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) reported that the number of patents granted in China and Japan was 5.30 lakh, 3.52 million, 1.79 lakh, and 1.35 lakh, respectively, for 2020.

The survey revealed that India’s low investment in research and development (R&D), was one of the reasons for India’s relatively low patents. However, the process delays and complexity are also factors.

It also stated that India’s low patent rates are due to the complexity and delays in the process. 

“The average pendency of the final decision to acquire patents in India is 42 month as of 2020. This is significantly higher than the 20.8, 20, 15.8 or 15 months for Japan, China, Korea, and Japan, respectively.” it said.

It was revealed that the average time it takes for a final decision to acquire patents in India has decreased from 64 months in 2017, to 52 months in 2019, and further to 42 in 2020.

It stated that in order to speed up the patent application process, the prescribed time limits for the first stage may be reduced from 18 months to 14-15 months. This would bring it in line with China and the US.

The low number of Indian patent examiners is also a reason for the delay. In 2020, 615 patent examiners were in India, compared to 13,704 China, 8,132 US and 1,666 Japan.

“This causes a delay in receiving the first exam report (FER), which can delay the whole process. It stated that there is a pressing need to increase the number patent examiners…a fixed time frame for grant should be established after the opposition hearing.” 


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