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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Who owns patents in Mobile Devices in India

The report `PATENTS AND MOBILE DEVICES IN INDIA: AN EMPIRICAL SURVEY by Jorge L. Contreras and Rohini Lakshané' provides useful data. Highlights:

  • The report identified a total of 19,569 published Indian patent applications and 4,052 issued Indian patents relating to mobile devices from January 2000 through February 2015. Top eleven holders of patents  are all non-Indian, based in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.The single technology category with the greatest number of patents was communications (12,857). Of approximately 23,500 total patents identified, a total of only eighteen patent applications and no issued patents were held by three of the Indian firms studied (Spice Digital, HCL and Videocon).
  • While absence of patenting activity in India is predicted, what surprised the authors is significant presence of software patents.  3,068 patents covered software-related features such as the operating system, message display, searching, file management and ringtone management. 
  • Finally authors refer to a possible solution - One of the authors (Lakshané), together with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), have requested that the Indian government establish a patent pool covering critical mobile technologies, and that licenses to such pool be made available to all domestic manufacturers at a fixed royalty rate of 5% of the end product’s net selling price. Read the open letter addressed to Indian PM.

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