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  • Swapna Raghu Sanand

Innovation by Indians growing! India marks highest growth in filing for international patents

Good news! India has filed more than two thousand international patent applications, thereby marking the highest growth among the top 15 nations. ‘Innovation’ is a word that has increasingly evoked more sighs than exclamations across India Inc. Perhaps now this pall of gloom is set to change. Building a robust innovation ecosystem may soon become the norm rather than an unusual occurrence. According to the data from the global intellectual property (IP) services of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, 2018 has been rocking for innovators from Asia, and they have filed over 50% of international patents. More importantly, the silver lining is this: India has every reason to strengthen innovation ecosystems across diverse sectors.

While India marked a significant growth of 27%, it is important to note that China is ranked second with a 21% share. A comparison between the two nations also shows that these are the only middle-income countries to be ranked among the top 15 countries.

A closer look at Indian patents show that most of these have been filed by TVS Motor Company ranking first, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Indian Institute of Technology ranking second and Reliance Industries at a close third.

For example, the TVS -ATT is an innovation that enhanced fuel efficiency by 20% when compared to the conventional technology that is currently in use today, even as it offered additional advantages like the lowest carbon dioxide emission in motorcycles and scooters, has a low floorboard and more space to keep luggage.

Another striking innovation was the RTR engine (Racing Throttle Response) by TVS Motors, which won several prestigious awards. What the RTR engine did is that it provided instant acceleration combined with aerodynamic, roto petal disc brakes that are completely from the track and digital speedometers.

Interestingly, the patents list is mostly dominated by Indian pharmaceutical companies such as Dr Reddys, Sun Pharma, Cipla and Lupin, among others. Several factors such as manufacturing excellence, cost competitiveness, trained human capital and robust infrastructure are known to have created Indian pharma’s success story. To accelerate growth, more innovations have to come through as well.

With Asia taking the crown as the majority filer of patent applications internationally, India can look towards building next-gen capabilities that will give ‘Brand India’ a distinct and innovative edge as well as sustain the cost advantage while supporting and nurturing an innovation-oriented ecosystem.

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