It takes a lot of time and effort to come with a stellar idea that has the capability to take the world by storm. And, whenever someone is able to pull that off, all they want to do is make it exclusive so as to keep its value intact. There’s also a government procedure that helps the innovators to achieve this – It’s called Patents.
Patent induce people to invent because of the prospect of reward.
But, it seems, the Indian government is giving Indian innovators sleepless nights as according to recent statistics made available by the government, it currently has 246,495 pending applications for patents (up from 226,339 in July) and more than half a million pending applications for trademarks.
A major reason for this growing backlog is insufficient staffing in the government departments. According to Indian commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the government currently has some 459 vacant posts for patents and design examiners which it’s trying to fill. In order to provide a quick fix for the problem, the Indian government has created 263 posts on contractual basis. Further, it has also proposed amendments to patent and trademark rules in an effort to streamline the procedures for filing and processing applications.
The Indian government has granted 3,581 patents and registered 37,799 trademarks between April to October this year.
During the same period, it also ended up rejecting 605 patent applications and 6,543 trademark registrations. This activity did little to help the backlog, which has worsened in recent years because of a surge in patent and trademark applications.
The Indian government’s this callousness for Indian patents has resulted in India losing out a spot on Bloomberg’s 2014 ranking of the 50 most innovative countries. The rankings are based in part on patent activity along with factors like high-tech density, manufacturing capability and R&D intensity.