Innovation in IP: An Indian Perspective

India, in 2020 entered into the 48th position on WIPO’s Global Innovation Index (GII) as an innovating country in the top 50. India is also in the top 3 innovating countries in the lower middle income-generating countries and in Central and Southern Asia regions. India has several government-led initiatives such as ‘National Intellectual Property Rights Policy’, ‘Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovation’, ‘Start-up India Initiative’. Let’s take a look at some of them-

National IPR Policy

Its motto is to aid in a creation of a system of dynamic, balanced and vibrant Intellectual Property Rights scenarios in India. Its objectives are as follows:

● Objective 1 IPR awareness through outreach and promotion- To ingrain awareness into the collective society about the social, cultural and economic benefits of Intellectual Property Rights.

● Objective 2 Generation of IPRs- To foster the growth and generation of Intellectual Property Rights.

● Objective 3 Legal and legislative structure- To have strong and effective Intellectual Property Rights laws that are enforceable, favoring both the rights of the owners and the public at large.

● Objective 4 Administration and management- To modernize and solidify service-oriented Intellectual Property Rights administration.

● Objective 5 Commercialization- To get economic rewards for such Intellectual Property through commercialization.

● Objective 6 Enforcement and adjudication- To strengthen the enforcement and mechanism for adjudication in order to combat Intellectual Property infringement.

● Objective 7 Development of Human Capital- To build and expand human resources, institutions and to capacitate teaching, research and skill upgrade in Intellectual Property Rights.

Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovation (AGNIi)

Its aim is to assist in the ongoing efforts to boost innovation in India by connecting innovators in the country and helping them commercialize such innovation for the economic growth of India. Its objectives are as follows:

● To identify and help with the commercialization of market-ready indigenous innovation.

● Collaborate with other innovation programs

● Promote government laboratories and aid in the commercialization of their market-ready innovative products

● Building capacities of innovators, scientists and technology transfer offices

● Bridging of the gap between industry and academic research

Startup India Initiative

Its aim is to catapult the startup culture in India and to strengthen and make the ecosystem inclusive for innovation and entrepreneurship. Its initiatives are as follows:

●Simplification and hand-holding-

To hold your hand through the process of launching a startup, simplify the exit routes for failed startups, provide legal aid, fast-track patent filing and provide relevant information on Intellectual Property Rights applications.

● Provide funding and incentives-

Exempting selected startups at the grassroots from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax. Funds to increase growth in the startup ecosystem and a credit guarantee scheme.

● Incubation and Industry-Academia Partnership-

Exempting selected startups at the grassroots from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax. Funds to increase growth in the startup ecosystem and a credit guarantee scheme. Creating several innovation labs, incubators, market competition and grants.

Relevant Statistics to understand the current scenario

● 56% of India’s funds for Research and Development (R&D) come from government investments.

● India spends about 0.65% of its GDP on R&D.

● The favored rate or the rate that leading nations spend on R&D is 1.5% to 3% of their GDP.

● The business sector in India contributes a gross 37% on R&D expenditure.

● The leading nation’s business sectors contribute about a gross 68% on average for R&D.

● In 2019, Indian residents were only 36% of the contribution to patent filing and most of India’s patent filings come from non-Indian residents.

● The leading countries have about an average of 62% patent filings from within the country.

● It is estimated that only 3% of the patents filed are commercialized in India.

How to better the ecosystem?

● Providing IPR Exchange to MSMEs:

IPR exchange is aimed at the commercialization of Intellectual Property. With an online centralized platform, it targets the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. Disseminating Intellectual Property education and providing financial access to the enterprises that file for Intellectual Property Rights and commercialize the protected inventions.

● Standardization and establishing of FRAND terms:

The technologies that are a result of standardization due to significant R&D developments are usually made available of Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory Terms or FRAND terms. It ensures the enterprises that wish to use the standard with the widest possible access as well as an adequate and fair compensation to the innovators.

● Strengthen the IP system:

India is comparatively slower in its patent processing and infringement cases than the leading nations albeit they are well-founded. Longer periods of time needed for Intellectual Property Rights protection usually discourages companies with little resources that depend on the return of their investments timely. Faster and more efficient procedures encourage companies to file for the protection of their rights, invest in the commercialization of such innovations and fight infringement.

● Financial support to market-ready innovations:

Providing a centralized approach to help startups from their grassroots stages of development to maturity stages and expansion of such support will help with the Innovation ecosystem.