There is a rush for patents

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Karnataka, home to some of the world’s big names in research and innovation, is upping its intellectual quotient and making a dash for gold in patenting.

Ranked among the top three patent application filing States, Karnataka is working on a new policy on intellectual property to spur more patenting from its denizens.

There has been a spurt in filings by Karnataka-based companies of all hues, which at last count was 1,167 applications with the keeper of the country’s intellectual property — the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks and Geographical Indications under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Bangalore has top intellectual property filers such as Infosys Ltd. (81); Samsung India Software Operations Ltd. (135) and Tejas Networks (40).

These three also topped the league the previous year.

Boeing, Airbus, Samsung, Philips, GE and Honeywell are among the multi-nationals that have opened global research and development centres here. Among active Indian companies are Wipro, Biocon, Titan and TVS.

Bangalore has 6,308 published patent applications and 870 patents granted to its residents, said Kalyan C. Kankanala, managing partner and co-founder of intellectual property consulting firm BananaIP Counsels (earlier Brain League).

Karnataka’s last recorded filings jumped 34 per cent over the 869 filings it made the previous year. It trailed only Maharashtra (2,540 filings) and Tamil Nadu (1,212) for 2012-13, as per the patent office.

The five intellectual property offices in the country received 43,674 applications, in all, from Indian and foreign applicants and granted 4,126 patents.

Dr. Kankanala told The Hindu that small and big companies operating in information technology, manufacturing, machine tools, electronics and telecommunications were starting new intellectual property units or strengthening existing teams.

“People now realise that intellectual property is the new gold and what is happening is something like a small gold rush,” he said.

In the recent years, filings from car parts major Bosch rose from almost nil to 200. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. said it filed 150 patent applications last year.

The other prominent filers from the State are the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Space Research Organisation, M.S. Ramaiah School of Advanced Studies and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

Dr. Kankanala said that while intellectual property revenue that companies make is to be fully assessed, patents improve the valuation of a company; funding agencies and acquirers also look at patent-savvy companies as a good place to invest their money in.

The Union government and a few States, including Karnataka, offer tax incentives against inventions and patenting expenses.

Karnataka also has the added feather of bagging the highest number of GIs (geographical indications) — 32 — among the States.

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