‘Why does India urgently need to invest in its patent environment?’ The headline report states that India has seen a significant increase in the number of patents filed and patents granted in recent years, but the number is much lower when compared with countries such as the US and China.
“In order to address the concerns regarding the patent and trademark system, there is a need to first increase the manpower in the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks,” it said.
The report said that as of the end of March 2022, only 860 people were employed in the Patent Office in India. These include both testers and controllers.
At the same time, the number of people working in the patent office in China was 13,704 and in the US 8,132.
It said that on an average it takes 20-21 months to dispose of a patent application in China and the US. It is one-third as compared to India. As on March 31, 2022, 1.64 lakh applications were pending at the controller’s level.
The report, authored by Sanjeev Sanyal and Akanksha Arora, said the number of employees in the patent office needs to be increased from 860 to 2,800 over the next two years.
It states that there is no fixed time limit for objecting to a patent application in India. This also causes delay.
The report says that there are some complicated procedures. For example, information related to the processing of foreign patent applications is also required. However, this is no longer important in the case of PCT (Patent Cooperation Agreement) applications as India is a member of the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization (WIPO) centralized access to search and testing. It already contains information on PCT applications related to other countries.
The report said that there has been a significant increase in the number of patent applications filed in India. 45,444 patent applications were filed in 2016-17, which increased to 66,440 in 2021-22. At the same time, the number of patents granted in India increased from 9,847 to 30,074 during this period.
Despite this, India is far behind China and America. 56,771 patents were filed in India in 2020. This is just four percent of the 14.97 lakh patent applications filed in China. At the same time, it is only 9.5 percent as compared to 5.97 lakh applications filed in the US.
During this, 26,361 patents were approved in India. At the same time, 5.3 lakh patents were approved in China and 3.5 lakh in the US.
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