‘Indian firms should focus more on patents’

April 30th, 2009 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

KPMG New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Indian companies should increase spending on research and development (R&D) and focus more on patents to protect their technologies, industry experts said here Thursday.
“Copying is stealing. It’s important that companies are educated about the advantages of patenting their technology,” Dominic Keating, secretary for intellectual property (IP) at the US embassy here, said.

He was speaking at a seminar organised by the US embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM).

Quoting a World Bank report, Keating has said the aggregate domestic R&D spending of Indian firms has never exceeded 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and 80 percent of this comes from the public sector.

“Indian companies, particularly the private ones, should invest more in research and development activities,” Keating later told IANS.

Of the top 50 applicants for patents in India, 44 were foreign firms and just two of the remaining six were private Indian firms.

“This is a very good time for Indian companies to apply for patents,” he said.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should also come forward to protect their inventions and technologies through the patent system. “It gives them a competitive edge and it’s the way to the future,” Keating said.

Arpinder Singh, executive director of global consulting firm KPMG, shared similar view: “Awareness needs to be created about the patenting advantages. Companies, especially SMEs, should monetise this opportunity.”

He added that the government should step in and create an IP (intellectual property) section to help the SME sector, as small enterprises may find its difficult to raise enough funds to apply for patents.

According to Deepak Maheshwari, Microsoft director (legal and corporate affairs), patents ensures more transparency and healthy competition.

“Patents bring in efficiency, consistency and self-check. It encourages healthy competition and overall growth,” Maheshwari told IANS.

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