India’s Innovation Sector Remains Slack While China overtakes the USA

WIPO has released a list of countries that have filed the most number of patent applications in 2013. While China stands first in the list, with the US following close behind, India has fallen down the list and remains laggard in filing patent applications for innovations, inventions and trademark activities.

lead the race

According to a report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, India is lagging behind in filing applications for industrial designs, trademarks and patents.

The figures in the report pits India far behind the US, with China overtaking the latter as well as other industrialized nations to lead the race with almost 825136 patents being filed in 2014 alone. This accounts for nearly one third of the total 2.6 million patents filed in 2013. While the US contributed 571612 patent applications to this list, there were only 43031 patent applications from India.

Patent Filings and Progress


WIPO receives millions of patent applications every year from inventors around the world. These patent filings help inventors secure their inventions and ideas under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which would then make any kind of duplication of these ideas/inventions a crime. The patent filings submitted by companies are used to analyse the amount of scientific progress a knowledge-based economy has made in terms of inventions and innovations every year.

The latest report by WIPO indicated that the number of patent applications from India reduced by nearly 2% in 2013 (the number was 44000 in 2012). WIPO attributes this drop to the nation’s unstable investment activity and economic slowdown.
WIPO also pointed out that the majority of patent applications from India are from NRIs, aka non-resident Indians. Out of the 43031 patent applications received from India in 2013, 32362 patent applications were filed by NRIs, while resident Indians filed only 10669.

Growth Factor across Asia

business recession

Economic slowdown and recession may have hit Asia hard. However, several industrialized economies in the region continue to flourish and propel growth. Accordingly, the growth 9% was observed in intellectual property activity, while areas like industrial designs and trademarks increased by 2.5% and 6.4% respectively.

The report by WIPO also underlined the worldwide growth of over 9% in patent application submission. The areas that garnered the most interest include computer technology, electrical machinery, digital communication and medical technology.

China filed nearly 1.88 million patent applications in trademark activity in 2013 while India managed to file only 202444. China also led the race in the area of industrial designs, filing over 659563 patent applications pertaining to the same in 2013. Here again, India was way down the list with just 8497 patent applications.

Experts at WIPO have revealed that although most of the patent applications filed by China are for design and utility rather than invention, the nation’s active engagement in the area shows positive signs for its growth. WIPO has in fact, indicated that China may soon overtake the US in areas like investments in R&D.

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