Indian researchers, innovators and scientists are succeeding in obtaining patents when they file applications abroad than India, according to a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) report.
On average, four of every 10 applications made by Indians abroad fetch a patent, while it is only one in 10 in India, the data analysis revealed.
Researchers have pointed out several reasons for this trend, including slow disposal to indiscriminate filing and the cost of registering patents, reported The Times of India.
According to the data, Indians filed over 1.2 lakh applications in the country between 2010 and 2019, out of which 13,670 were granted patents. On the other hand, 44,477 out of 1.07 lakh applications filed by Indians abroad have been granted patents.
Sourabh Gargav, head of business development and new ventures creation at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), said that the process is always time-consuming in India. "It easily takes four to five years, and this means that applications may get cleared in the later years," Gargav said.
An official from the Indian patent office said that a lot of applications filed in India are to pip competition and obtain first mover's advantage, and hence researchers take time to strengthen their claims.
Rajendra Ratnoo, controller general of patents, designs and trademarks, said that the disposal rate has increased over the last five years. "While we encourage patent applications, we also have a robust system that's meticulous in the selection, which may be resulting in many applications not getting converted into patents. Given the cost of filing abroad, applicants are very careful and file only such claims they know have a chance of getting cleared," he said.
Another official explained that the cost of the entire official filing is less than ₹10,000 compared to $2,000 (1.5 lakh rupees) in the United States. "There are other costs like attorney fees, which are also affordable in India, but the cheapest lawyers in other countries are expensive. Hence, applicants are very mindful of making claims, which is why more applications are cleared abroad," he said.
Meanwhile, data shows that foreign patent filers have better chances of fetching a patent in India, with 23.4 per cent of all applications getting approved compared to just 10.8 per cent filed by Indians.