Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey

44 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2016 Last revised: 19 Mar 2017

See all articles by Jorge L. Contreras

Jorge L. Contreras

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Rohini Lakshané


Date Written: April 12, 2016


Though India has the second-largest wireless subscriber base in the world, with more than 150 mobile device vendors, it has, until recently, remained relatively unaffected by the global smartphone wars. Over the past three years, however, a growing number of patent enforcement actions have been brought by multinational firms against domestic Indian producers. These actions, which have largely resulted in judgments favoring foreign patent holders, have given rise to a variety of proposals for addressing this situation.

In order to assess the potential impact of patents on the mobile device market in India, and to assist policy makers in formulating and implementing regulations affecting this market, we have conducted a comprehensive patent landscape analysis of the mobile device sector in India using public data relating to Indian patent ownership by technology type, nationality, and industry classification. Our results illuminate a number of important features of the Indian mobile device market, including the overwhelming prevalence of foreign patent holders, the rate at which foreign and domestic firms are obtaining patents, and how these patent holdings are likely to shape industrial dynamics in the Indian market for mobile devices, as well as the availability of low-cost mobile devices that can significantly enhance public health, agriculture, safety and economic development throughout India.

Keywords: patent, India, standard, SEP, standards-essential patent, SEP, FRAND, CCI, antitrust, mobile device, telecommunications

Suggested Citation

Contreras, Jorge L. and Lakshané, Rohini, Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey (April 12, 2016). 50 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1 (2017), University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 165, Available at SSRN: or

Jorge L. Contreras (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Rohini Lakshané

Independant ( email )

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