According to a report for past year by controller general of patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications, in India, around 70% patents are filed by foreign entities.
Every year we export around INR 48000 crore to brands that have patent of that specific product and service.
Great, but why not Indian brands leverage this power of patents?
Why Indians are hesitant for filing for patents?
There might be various reasons for this lack of awareness: complexity and tedious processes for patent application could very well be one of them, but it goes much deeper.
Cost is also a factor to be taken under consideration here, at least for startups because they are the ones who are usually on the limited runway. But surely huge Indian companies can manage the expenses for patents?
Today many international corporations earn a big part of their revenue from licencing fees as they have the patent for the something.
Your normal Adobe reader holds 40+ patent.
What do such big corporations have in common? Toyota, IBM, GM, Ford, HP, Microsoft, Pfizer, Apple, Philips, Bosch, BASF, Bayer, Canon, Sony, Toshiba, Nippon Steel, Samsung, LG, Huawei, ZTE, Amazon, Tesla.. and so on. Look at their wide range of sectors and different fields of work but still they have something in common, what is that?
Intellectual Property Rights: they have understood the power of IPR.
What is Patent?
Patent is said to be an easy process or instrument set up by the society to acknowledge the inventor for their innovation and making a contract that this innovation has helped the society, so in return they should get some profit from that innovation. For this, they have sole right on that innovation.
Generally, patent is Valid for 20 years.
Patent can be either Service or Product.
expression of idea which has economical value to it, can be patented.
We can patent a Process as well.
One product may have many patents, granted in consideration of disclosure to public via patent office, process is country-specific.
Try to answer a few questions before filing for patent
- Is this a Product, Material, Tool, Machine, Device, Software?
- Is this new? Does this have at least one new feature?
- Is the new feature non-obvious to one trained in that field?
- Is this capable of industrial application?
- Is this not an abstract idea, natural law/phenomenon?
While filing the patent, you have to expose all the detailed documentation for the process or product which you are applying and patent office will put this to the entire world to know.
Due to which many companies hesitate to file a patent and rather they make it as an Trade Secret . in which you don’t have to disclose it to anyone. For example, Google has their algorithm as a Trade Secret, coke formula, KFC formula is trade secret.
There are few other things than Patenting.
- Industrial design
Copyright and Trademarks are also have country specific process, but they are fairly easier to get than patents. They make sure you have right to your intellectual property, company branding etc and that you are secured against someone using it without your permission.
Industrial Design : it is when we secure a specific design. This has to be non functional and external, ornamental and aesthetic aspect of a product. Technical features are not protected under this type of protection. This has to be an original design.