New Delhi, April 2 : The Indian Patent Office has granted a record number of 15,262 patents during 2007-08 which is more than double the number of patents granted (7539) during the previous year and almost eight times the number of patents granted just three years ago in 2004-05 (1911).
The number of patents granted during 2007-08, the first year of the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) compares well with the total number of patents granted during the entire 10th Five Year Plan period which was 17,618 only. The patent filings also crossed the 35,000 mark during 2007-08.
The surge in the number of patents has to do with the modernisation of the patent and other intellectual property offices. It may be noted that the Government had spent Rs.149 crore on the first phase of modernisation, which resulted in the establishment of modern integrated Intellectual Property (IP) offices in the four metros, computerisation and enhancement of the human resources.
The Indian patent office has also introduced the facility for e-filing of applications from 20 July, 2007. The office has also been recognised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in October 2007.
The national exchequer also stands to gain from the improved functioning of the IP office with an income of about Rs.194 crore during 2007-08 compared to a non-plan expenditure of less than Rs.23 crore for the year.
The Government has recently approved the second phase of modernisation costing Rs. 300 crore. This programme would see the construction of buildings for housing ISA and IPEA operations in Delhi and for trade marks registry and IP archives at Ahmedabad, substantial increase in human resources to meet the requirements of increased IP filings, digitisation of all the IP records and establishment of a total online office.
The Government has already separately commenced work on setting up a National Institute of Intellectual Property Management (NIIPM) at Nagpur which would cater to training, education, research and think tank functions in Intellectual Property Rights.