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India: A Rising Patent Powerhouse

For India, this marks the sixth consecutive year of patent application growth, with 2022 registering the fastest increase since 2005.

A recent study by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has revealed that patent applications from India experienced a remarkable 31.6% increase in 2022, reaching a total of 55,718. This achievement marks the sixth consecutive year of growth, highlighting India’s thriving innovation landscape. Despite this significant increase, India’s total patent applications remained considerably lower than those of countries like China, the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Germany, which maintained their positions as the top patent-filing nations in 2022. For India, this marks the sixth consecutive year of patent application growth, with 2022 registering the fastest increase since 2005.

Notably, 13 out of the top 20 patent offices worldwide received a greater number of patent applications in 2022 compared to the previous year. Globally, innovators submitted a record-breaking 3.46 million patent applications in 2022, marking the third consecutive year of growth at 1.7% over 2021. This positive trend followed a 3% decline in 2019 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the resilience of the global intellectual property landscape. The substantial growth in patent applications can be attributed to a surge in filings by China, which submitted 33,605 more applications than in 2021. Additionally, India’s intellectual property office contributed significantly with 15,495 additional applications.

South Africa and the European Patent Office (EPO) also played a crucial role in driving global growth with 3,030 and 4,832 additional applications, respectively. In terms of patent applications by area of innovation in large middle-income countries, the following sectors dominated: Brazil excelled in other special machines (8.4% of total published applications), Malaysia in computer technology (9.6%), Mexico in pharmaceuticals (12.1%), and Turkey in medical technology (7.5%). China led the pack with around 1.58 million patent applications in 2022, covering both domestic and foreign jurisdictions. The United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Germany followed with 5,05,539, 4,05,361, 2,72,315, and 1,55,896 applications, respectively.

The report also highlighted India’s remarkable growth in annual trademark applications, which rose from below 100,000 in 2006 to nearly 480,000 in 2022. Brazil and India were the only two offices among the top five to receive more trademark applications in 2022 compared to 2021. An astounding 11.8 million trademark applications, covering 15.5 million classes, were filed in 2022. Notably, the number of classes specified in applications fell by 14.5% in 2022, marking the first annual reduction in application class count since 2009. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated this achievement, emphasizing that the surge in patent applications reflects the nation’s burgeoning innovation spirit.

He shared a link to the WIPO post on social media, highlighting India’s 31.6% growth in patent applications, extending an unmatched 11-year streak. The WIPO report revealed that intellectual property filings have continued to grow despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Developing countries are increasingly driving innovation and creativity, showing the greatest growth rates. However, uncertainty continues to impact the global innovation ecosystem, with venture capital funding dropping in many parts of the world. The report calls for supporting good ideas that can change the world for the better without compromising on quality. In addition to the remarkable surge in patent applications, the report noted a 14.5% decline in trademark application class counts and a 2.1% decline in industrial design filing activity in 2022, indicating changing patterns in work and life due to the pandemic.

The impressive growth of India’s patent applications underscores the country’s growing innovation prowess and its position as a key player in the global intellectual property landscape. With a focus on supporting innovation and creativity, India is poised to continue its remarkable journey in the world of patents and intellectual property.

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COVID-19 Europe

Merkel defends patent protection for vaccines

At their summit, the EU’s heads of state and government will discuss, among other things, the progress of the Covid vaccination campaign and the global distribution of vaccines…reports Asian Lite News.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines in a government statement in the Bundestag or the lower house of Parliament.

“A politically enforced release of patents is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go,” Merkel said on Thursday.

She said she was convinced that “we need to increase the production of vaccines on the basis of licenses as quickly as possible”.

The world will “continue to depend on vaccines being developed in the future”, Merkel said in the German government’s statement on the June 24-25 European Council meeting in Brussels.

“This will only succeed if the protection of intellectual property is not overridden but is preserved.”

At their summit, the EU’s heads of state and government will discuss, among other things, the progress of the Covid vaccination campaign and the global distribution of vaccines.

Merkel emphasised that the decision to jointly procure vaccines in Europe was right.

“Anything else might have given some member states short-term advantages but would have severely disrupted life in the internal market.”

Till date, more than 27.8 million people in Germany had been fully vaccinated, bringing the country’s vaccination rate to 33.5 per cent, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

More than 43.4 million people received at least one vaccine dose.

“The pandemic can only be defeated globally and the key to this is vaccination,” Merkel stressed.

It is therefore important that the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US) aim to distribute 2.3 billion vaccine doses to the developing countries by 2022.

Caution against Delta variant

Although the current infection situation in Germany was “encouraging,” Merkel called for further caution over the Covid-19 crisis during her last government question session in the Bundestag.

“Even if the third wave has been impressively broken, the pandemic is not over yet,” said Merkel. “We are still on thin ice.” Keeping distance, hygiene and the use of protective masks in certain situations were still “important protective measures and will remain important,” she added, Xinhua reported.

Germany’s incidence rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days continued to fall to 7.2 on Wednesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). A week ago, the country’s seven-day incidence rate stood at 13.

Merkel highlighted the threat posed by the spreading of coronavirus mutations. “We must not now lightly risk what we have achieved together,” said Merkel.

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