IPR filling statistics in India 2020: Summary

Illustration of graphs

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, inventors around the world have managed to file almost 3.3 million patent applications in 2020 which represents an increase of 1.6% over 2019 filings. A significant rise in filings was contributed mainly by China which filed 96,498 more applications than in 2019 combined along with contributions from the Republic of Korea (7,784), China, Hong Kong SAR (5,024) and India (3,144). The overall trend to date is upwards, applications having increased from approximately 1 million in 1995 to around 2 million by 2010 and reaching the 3 million mark in 2016. Applications received at offices located in Asia represented 66.6% of the world total, 2.2 million applications approximately.

The size and structure of the economies, population, gross domestic product (GDP), research and development spending are some of the variables which might provide us more information regarding the variations in the patenting activity across countries when resident patent activity with regards to variables mentioned. With 8,249 resident patent applications per unit of USD 100 billion GDP, the Republic of Korea filled most patent applications in 2020. Followed by China (5,845), Japan (4,696), Germany (1,609) and Switzerland (1,605). India (274) was awarded 25th spot.

From the 2019 data, computer technology was the most frequently featured technology in published patent applications worldwide with 284,146 published applications. Followed by electrical machinery (210,429), measurement (182,612), digital communication (155,011), and medical technology (154,706). Between 2017 and 2019, China (8.6% of all published applications), the U.K. (7.5%) and the U.S. (11.8%) filed most heavily in computer technology. As for India, 17.8% of total published applications were related to pharmaceuticals.

In 2020, approximately 1.6 million patents were granted worldwide which is an increase of 6% over 2019. Highest number of patents in 2020 were issued by China (530,127), followed by the U.S. (351,993), Japan (179,383), the Republic of Korea (134,766) and the EPO (133,706). India granted 26,361 patents which resulted in a growth of 11.8% patents granted in 2020. Both resident and non-resident grants contributed equally to total growth in India.

Another statistic worth noting is the average age of patents in force in 2020. For the 92 offices for which the data was reported, around 41.3% of patents granted remained in force for atleast 7 years after the filing date and about 18.9% lasted the full 20-year term. India reported 12 years as average age of all patents in force. On the other hand, percentage of rejected applications with respect to the total were highest in China (35.5%), the Republic of Korea (26.7%) and the U.S. (45.2). The proportion of withdrawn or abandoned applications was greatest in Brazil (57.8%), Germany (38.3%) and India (37.7%). When it comes to pending applications, China and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had almost 1 million pending applications. India had almost 117,336 applications still pending in 2020, which had sharply reduced compared to a year earlier by 23.4%.

International patent applications filed via WIPO’s PCT reached 275,900 applications in 2020. China with +16.1% was the only country that recorded a double-digit annual growth between 2019 and 2020, whereas India reported a -6.5% decline over the same period.

We are of the opinion that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in filing of patents in India sheds light on the effort being put in by the government to educate and encourage people regarding patents. Government has significantly reduced the filing fees for natural persons, small entities, and educational institutions to encourage patent filling. Additionally, to encourage women, government of India has provided relaxations such expediated examination and so on. Factors mentioned above contributed to the significant growth in filing of patent applications in India in our opinion. In coming years, we also anticipate that government will keep taking steps to encourage people to file for patents as it will encourage innovation, cheaper products, and ultimately will improve the economy.

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Best regards – Team InvnTree   

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