The word "Patent" is equivalent to monopoly rights over an invention. Not all inventions are patentable and nor is it essential to protect one's invention solely through a patent. Once a patent is granted, the patent inventions confer certain rights on the rightful owner, it is a right capable of protection under the Patent Act.
A patent is essential to a company because it can help to safeguard one's invention, innovation or an idea. It can protect any product, design or process that meets certain specifications based on its originality, practicality, suitability, and utility.
As a report generated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) listed below is a list of reasons as to why one should patent their idea and innovation.
The owner has the following rights:
- Patents provide exclusive rights which usually allows your Company to use and exploit the invention for the term of the Patent
- Deter competition based on this monopoly/exclusive rights
- Controlled deployment and development process of your technology
- Through these exclusive rights, your Company can prevent others from commercially using your patented invention. This helps you to establish your Company in the market
- You can commercialize on these exclusive rights to obtain higher returns on your investment
- You have an opportunity to license or sell your invention in order to optimize on your commercialization and earn a chance to charge a hefty royalty fee
- An IP right such as a Patent will increase your negotiating power in case of a joint venture/ new business
- Shareholders will perceive your IP portfolio as a high level of the technological capacity of your Company.
The History of patent law in India can be traced back to 1911 when the Patent and Design Act was enacted, however, it was repealed and the present Patents Act, 1970 came into place to amend and consolidate the earlier patent laws.
The rightful owner enjoys monopoly rights over his patent for a period of 20 years after which it shall be open to exploitation by others. This time period starts soon as you file your patent.
India is on course to become one of the leading hubs for innovation, research and development, because of which even the intellectual property (IP) industry is showing huge potential for growth.
Emerging techs such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Cyber Security accounted for 50 % of the tech patents filed in the year 2017 to 2018.
Wipro has filed a patent application to generate a safe navigation path for driverless vehicles, and TCS has filed a patent application for pest management, where the system provided pest forecasting using historical pesticide usage information.
Innovation is the key to drive the transformation, and such IP is a testimony to this transformational growth in India.
As stated in the report updated by NASSCOM â€˜Emerging Technologies: Leading the next wave of IP Creation for India', Indian firms filed over 4,600 patents between 2015 and 2018. A majority of these patents were in the technology domain.
The report has showcased how Indian firms are creating IP assets in the United States, which is one of the most favoured countries to file a patent.
Additionally, the report also has found that the share of tech patents are on the rise. During the year 2017-18, the tech patents were 65 per cent of the total patents filed.
Having patents in an emerging tech is definitely a source of competitive advantage, especially as companies are transitioning to build and use products and platforms on which companies compose, design and implement their work and research.
The Nasscom President stated that Innovation is the key to drive transformation and such patents are a testimony to this transformational growth. She further added that as a country, India could further strengthen its potential as an innovation hub through more frequent investments in research and strategic collaborations. We are confident that we will usher in a new wave of innovation and intelligence in the country.
Nikhil Malhotra, from Tech Mahindra, said that in addition to being a competitive advantage, creating IP can also help to drive long term revenues as well as boost employee morale.
Indian technology companies have stepped up filing patents as they build solutions and products in emerging technologies and look to monetise their IP and grow their business faster. The proliferation of digital technologies across industries is perhaps the biggest reason why these firms are rushing to create IP.