Patenting Landscape in India 2009

15 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009

Date Written: October 31, 2009


Patenting activity is an important yardstick for measuring a country’s innovation, research and technological development. In recent years, India has witnessed rapid changes in its patenting landscape as a result of its growing economy and patent-law reforms. This paper investigates the patenting landscape in India, focussing on patent applications published over 2005–2008.

According to a latest research conducted by Evalueserve for the period 2005-08, Qualcomm is the largest patent filer with the Indian Patent Office and is closely followed by India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Qualcomm had a total of 2068 patents published during 2005 to 2008, showing how seriously it protects its innovations in India, which is now the world’s fastest growing market in mobile communication.

This study also noted that global economic slowdown had taken its toll on the rapid growth witnessed in the patent filings during the recent years. In the fiscal year 2008–09, patent filings grew by 5% as compared to a 20% increase in each of the past four years.

Another trend observed is the growing disparity among domestic and foreign applicants. There has been an increase in the filing of patents overall but Indian companies have not been keeping pace with their foreign counterparts. In 2007–08, domestic applicants filed 6,296 applications with the IPO, which constitutes about 18% of the total applications. This was much lower than their share in 2006–07 (19%), 2005–06 (20%), and 2004–05 (23%). Clearly, there has been a progressive decline in the share of the domestic applicants during the last few years. Top ten filers for the year 2008 (as per the count of published applications) include Qualcomm, CSIR, Samsung, Philips Electronics, Thomson Licensing, General Electric, Ericsson, Nokia, Bayer and General Motors.

Among domestic applicants, the Pharmaceutical sector maintained its lead over other sectors. Interestingly, the domestic automobile sector showed impressive growth, which may due to the recent patent lawsuit between TVS Motors and Bajaj Auto and because of recent development of Nano car by Tata Motors. However, the Indian IT and Telecom sector continues to fare poorly.

Keywords: patent, intellectual property, IP, patent landscape, India, Indian patent office

JEL Classification: O34, O40, O39

Suggested Citation

Rawat, Balwant, Patenting Landscape in India 2009 (October 31, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Balwant Rawat (Contact Author)

Intellectual Property ( email )

2nd Floor, Unitech World-Cyber Park
Jharsa, Sector-39
Haryana, Gurgaon 122002

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