There is backlog of two lakh patent applications in India as of now. While journal publications reflect a country’s prowess in science, patents reflect a country’s stand in technology.Even as the number of patent applications in India have increased over the past decade, the number of patents granted has drastically come down, this has been cited as one of the reasons for India’s low research output in the Economic Survey 2017-18 released on Monday. Granting of a patent can take even upto five years in the current situation.The report says that the decrease in grants is due to stricter examination process and manpower shortage. In 2016-17 there were only 132 examiners for all patent applications in the country. Due to this, there is a backlog of 2 lakh patent applications in the country”Given the rapid rate of technological obsolescence, the inordinate delays in processing patents penalizes innovation and innovators within the country,” the report observes.The government has however hired 450 patent examiners in 2017 to ease the burden but its effect will have to be seen.”One major challenge in India has been the domestic patent system. While India’s patent applications and grants have grown rapidly in foreign jurisdictions, the same is not true at home. Residential applications have increased substantially since India joined the international patent regime in 2005. However, the number of patents granted fell sharply post 2008 and has remained low,” said the survey.”While Indian residents were granted over 5000 patents in foreign offices in 2015, the number for resident filings in India was little over 800,” it added.According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), India is the 7th largest Patent Filing Office in the World. In 2015, India registered 45,658 patents in comparison to China (1,101,864), USA (589,410), Japan (318,721), Republic of Korea (213,694), and Germany (91,726). However, India produces fewer patents per capita, which is less than 100.

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Patents could cost you 5 years in India