Why better IPR will be the key to driving India’s innovation story

Guest Author
30th Sep 2015
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Make in India’ is no longer just a buzzword but a reality, which is being driven by the concerted effort of government, public, and private players. However, the key to success of Make in India, which aims at making India a global manufacturing hub with state-of-the-art R&D facilities, is innovation. The government and private sector needs to look at creating a conducive eco-system for innovation to thrive and prosper in India.


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India lacks the ‘innovation’ tag

One of the key agendas of Make in India is creation of intellectual property rights(IPR), as the government understands that IPR will be key to fostering innovation. The Indian government has likewise understood the significance of it and is putting an effort to accelerate innovations from India. The India Patents Act-1970 has experienced corrections to adjust to the concession to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for ensuring the required enthusiasm around innovations driven out of India.

Despite the required revisions, India's non-attendance in 2015 Bloomberg Innovation Index, a yearly positioning of the world's 50 most inventive nations has been quite disappointing. Moreover, in the present landscape, it would be unfair to expect India in the World Bank Global Innovation Index either.

The reasons are clear. India needs to be equipped with more patented innovations. In 2013–2014, just 10,941 out of the 42,951 patent applications were applied by the Indians.

Adding to the woes, our intellectual property (IP) department keeps struggling with shortage of officers and this has an adverse effect on the approval on the patent. In order to drive talent, the patent analysts should be given premium treatment in terms of compensations, assignments, and acknowledgments as this will bring more competency into India’s IP merit.

India's IP law is considered to be among the most dynamic laws which shield open premiums, and countries like Argentina, Philippines, and Brazil are attempting to learn from it, however, it’s unfortunate to see the patent on Indian innovation going to the other nations. Indian business fraternity needs to rise to the occasion and help the nation to create new benchmarks in the global IP ecosystem.

The required push

Government is making impressive moves to push ‘Innovations’ in the country and enhance the foundation of IP to expedite India’s innovation rating. With its ‘'Digital India’ initiative, the Indian government designed Rs 1.13 lakh crore programs to transform India as an innovation hub.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) IPR cell has already planned a strong IPR community for the startups. The IPR cell will accelerate the documentation of IPR applications which incorporates licenses, trademarks, copyrights, etc. Industry bodies like India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) are also making efforts to speed up IP creation in the country and also providing support to the ecosystem through trainings and awareness creation.

It is evident from the success of Mangalyaan and Six Sigma certified dabbawalas in Mumbai that India has an incredible designing quality and has the potential to deliver great technology inventions. And, hence it is equally important to nurture the potential and evolve them as India's homegrown property.

The corporates are also putting effort towards strengthening this potential. Wipro, Infosys, and many others are setting up innovation funds to support new ideas and indigenous product creation. In the financial year 2012–2013 Wipro had documented 211 licenses and 334 licenses in 2013–2014. In 2014–2015, the number has grown up to 578.

Driving India’s innovation story

Today, India's innovation success is completely dependent on the new-age startups. The first age entrepreneurs and large corporates are bullish on these startups and are giving them the obliged thrust and framework to innovate from India and take it to the world.

The entrepreneurs have also understood the long haul advantages and are building their organisation's IP portfolio, with a competitive edge for a longer timeline. This will help them to secure funding from business capitalists and large Indian enterprises.

India should make innovation as a key component in its regulatory framework. Whenever a regulation is being passed by ministries or regulators, the impact on innovation should be taken into account. And, this will provide the required fillips to India’s innovation revolution.

So, to say …

India is awesome at invention; however, need to step up to innovate. Great inventions happen from unforeseen spots. Not being patented, they do not get the desired acknowledgment.

India’s intent is evident from the initiatives towards ensuring innovations by altering its enactment, setting up an innovation-focused ecosystem, bringing together with private players and so forth. Government institutions like STPI, DeitY; Academic institutions like IITs, Delhi University, IIMs; Associations like IESA, Nasscom and Corporations like Cybermedia Research – everyone is making an effort to accelerate the nation’s entrepreneur revolution, hence transforming our ‘Make in India’ vision into a conceivable reality.

The onus lies on us to make India the next Silicon Valley and each Indian ought to make the most of their commitment for this development. Yes, this should be a national development for making 'Make in India' a success. Let us join hands to contribute to our nation’s growth.

(Disclaimer: The views in this article may or may not represent the views of YourStory) 

About the author

Pradeep Gupta is the member of Project Management Group at Electropreneur Park and is an angel investor and a mentor to a number of entrepreneurs. He is also the co-founder of Indian Angel Network, and is on the Board of IvyCap Ventures and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. Pradeep is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta and was on the Board of UTI AMC, UTI Capital, IIT Delhi incubator and a global trustee of TiE.

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