January 25, 2019
According to a report issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO"), the number of patents granted in India increased by 50% between 2016 and 2017 – specifically, from 8,248 to 12,387.
Foreigners accounted for 31,621 of the 46,582 patent applications received in 2017, which is more than double the number of applications received from Indian applicants. Of the domestic applications received, 15.7% were in the pharmaceutical industry. Notably, 10,675 patents were granted to foreign entities or individuals, while 1,712 went to parties based in India.
India has experienced a boom in the volume of patent applications in recent years: for example, the number of potentially pending applications received in 2016 was 2.4 times the number in 2010. Although India has been criticized in the past for failing to process pending applications, the introduction of the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy in 2016 simplified the procedure for granting intellectual property rights and may partially explain the large increase in patent numbers.
By way of comparison, the WIPO estimates that over 1.4 million patents were granted worldwide in 2017. While India ranks tenth on the list of countries by number of patents granted in 2017, the top spots are claimed by China, the United States and Japan.