Qualcomm, GM, Philips, LG, CSIR and Honda leads patent race

Indian organisations will need to do a lot of work and invest in R&D to match their global counterparts

In FY 2016-17, the total number of patents granted during the year was 9,847 out of which 1,315 were granted to Indian applicants. With this, the total number of patents in force in India was 48,765 as on 31st March 2017 of which 7,660 patents belonged to Indians according to FY2016-17 Annual Report of Intellectual Property India.

In Indian patents, Qualcomm leads both in patent application as well as patent granted for FY2016-17. The company has filed 1,840 patents in FY2016-17 and was granted 383 patents in the same fiscal. GM Global Technology Operations Inc. was second with 209, followed by Koninklijke Phillips Electronics N.V. at 159, LG Electronics Inc. at 108, Council of Science & Industrial Research (CSIR) at 104 and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. with 90.

In terms of patent applicants, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is at No. 2 position with 706 patent applications, followed by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd with 625, Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC with 589, Koninklijke Philips N.V. with 557, General Electric Company with 520, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson with 470, Philips Lighting Holding B.V. with 307, Council of Science & Industrial Research with 230 and Wipro with 226.

Top 10 Patent Applicants during FY 2016-17:

S. No Organization Number of Patents
1 Qualcomm Inc. 1,840
2 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. 706
3 Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 625
4 Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC 589
5 Koninklijke Philips N.V. 557
6 General Electric Company 520
7 Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 470
8 Philips Lighting Holding B.V. 307
9 Council of Science & Industrial Research 230
10 Wipro 226

Source: Intellectual Property India

Top 6 Patentees in India (FY 2016-17):

S. No Organization Patents Granted
1 Qualcomm Inc. 383
2 GM Global Technology Operations Inc. 209
3 Koninklijke Phillips Electronics N.V. 159
4 LG Electronics Inc. 108
5 Council of Science & Industrial Research (CSIR) 104
6 Honda Motor Co. Ltd. 90

Source: Intellectual Property India

According to the report, the Top 5 Indian applicants include: Indian Institute of Technology (Collective) with 400 patents, followed by Wipro Ltd. (226), CSIR (225), Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (205) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (174).

In this patent list, the score of large Indian conglomerates is very poor and government need to see that the Indian conglomerates as well as companies focus on R&D and register their patents with The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indications by providing them better incentives or schemes. To promote patents in scientific, research & development organisations, government grants should be directly proportional to the number of patents applied/granted for a particular year. Not, only this, the focus should be also on explaining why we need more patents to organisation as well as institutes along with providing training on complete process of filing patents.

Amendments in the Patents Rules, 2003, which came into force in May 2016 has also brought about sweeping changes by simplifying the procedures, which include, streamlining timelines for disposal of patent applications, inclusion of startup as a new category of applicant with 80% concession in fees. This is good for startup as they can take advantage of this scheme.

“With the objective of improving functioning and service delivery of the office and resolve public grievances more speedily and effectively, future initiatives intended to be implemented include: Launching SMS alert service to stakeholders regarding examination reports and time bound actions; Publishing Periodic List of First examination Reports (FER) issued in the Patent Office E- journal on IPO website; Introducing the facility for e-verification of signature in addition to the present mode of digital signature to make online filing easier and more user-friendly; Introducing updated facility for hearing with the controller through video-conferencing from the applicant’s office; and developing MobileApp service for providing IP-information and service to stakeholders,” says Om Prakash Gupta, Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks in the report.

All this will be win-win for both government, Indian companies, Indian scientific research & development organisations and MNCs in the long run.