India has reached a milestone in its mission to build an intellectual property (IP)-driven economy.

For the first time, Indian IP authorities granted over one lakh patents in a single year. India’s IP authority -the Controller General of Patents, Trademarks, Designs and GIs- granted 1,01,311 patents between March 15, 2023 to March 14, 2024 as per official data viewed by businessline. In FY23, the number of patents granted by the authorities stood at just 34,134. 

With increased innovation and IP awareness among companies, universities and individuals, Indian authorities also received the highest ever number of patent applications, 90,300, between March 15, 2023 and March 14, 2024. This number stood at 82,811 for FY23. 

Applications for all IPs -patents, copyrights, trademarks etc- have risen in India. Total patent applications increased 24% from 2021-22 to 2022-23 and has grown 9% in 2023-24. In line with India’s growing semiconductor ecosystem, the applications filed towards protection of Semiconductor Integration Layout Designs (SCILD) grew from just one in 2021-22 to eight in 2022-23. 

Adheesh Nargolkar, partner at Khaitan & Co, notes that patent applications from India- both in India and internationally- have gone up substantially in the last year. “Besides companies and universities, even new-age startups are part of this action, and these applications cut across technologies,” he said. “There has also been a concerted effort from the authorities to streamline processes and increase the number of patent examiners to expedite the patent granting process,” he adds. 

In a year of economic uncertainty, filings through the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO’s) Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system fell by 2%- its first decline in 14 years. However, India was among the few nations that recorded growth in international PCT applications as Indian innovators filed 44.6% more applications in CY 2023 at 3,791 than previous year. PCT is a global framework that helps protect one’s IP in 150+ partner countries. However, India makes up a small part of the PCT community, and is at the 11th spot worldwide. 

In FY 2022-23, the top PCT filers from India were TVS Motor Company (88), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (51), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (22) and all the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) at 21. 

As per Manu Santhanam, dean of Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research at IIT-Madras, IIT-M filed more than one patent application per day in FY24, closing the year at 378 (293 Indian, 85 international) applications. This represents a 62% rise from the total applications in FY23.