We don’t have startups in india that actually generate IP : K Vijayaraghavan

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We don’t have startups in india that actually generate IP : K Vijayaraghavan Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld spoke to K Vijayaraghavan, Chairman, Sathguru Management Consultants (P) Ltd, Hyderabad, to figure out where india is placed in the IP map today. Edited excerpts :

Global trends you see in IP today?
In terms of intellectual property asset generation we’ve been seeing a surge of innovation in the world today. Of course the big surge is in China obviously because now they are leading the investment in the world in innovation. Globally, they are the largest in terms of number of the patterns filed with more than a million patterns. Global patterns filed which are important, than domestic patterns. I think they are almost equaling the US today in terms of number of patterns filed in are around 40,000+. India is somewhere at the 14th or 15th level today, we’ve also surged. But countries like Korea, Japan, Germany and all, they have been having huge surge in their own innovations especially in Biomedical Sciences and electronics.

Is India a destination for IP?
India is certainly a destination for IP because Indian markets attract IP. They are one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Our IP has gone three fold in the last 10 years, but a lot of it is more than 2/3rds are international IP’s filed in India by international companies to attract Indian markets. Our homegrown IP is growing slowly but not as much as we would want it to.

What are the challenges that you see?
A Couple of challenges is critical. I think majority of IP comes from innovative young companies or academic institutions. We don’t have startups in India that actually generate IP or bring in IP to commercialization’s. There’s a huge depth of investments there to take private sector IP to markets there. Even for current innovations to really be converted to IP, we would have to look at 10-15 billions of dollars there. We don’t have just any kind off 1/10th of the investment currently being made. Second is our academic IP has come down from a kind of a reach to the markets there. We do generate about 2-3 thousand patterns a year in academic research but they don’t really reach out the obligation. So, there’s been a decline in the patterns filed in the public system itself.

And what needs to be done? The remedial measures that can be taken.
First is I think we should have a surge of investments in early generation technologies. There is complete risk hours approach there by current investors even the Prime Minister’s 10,000 crore given for innovation nurturing. Nothing of that has reached the frontier sciences today be it the bio-pharmaceuticals or agriculture or electronics, bodies that are dispensing including SEBI, they don’t look at a very high risk kind of an investment managers today. So there is depth of key investments there. Second is IP administration itself. In terms of statistics our Indian examiners examine highest number of patterns that’s only next to Brazil today in terms of pendency, we have three to four years of pendency in pattern grant. So, we are second worst pattern grant country among the OUCT and middle income countries in terms of time taken to grant a pattern. So, these are the critical issues that need to be addressed.

How about opportunities in Pharma?
We have superb opportunities for Pharma in the country today as we have the world’s largest number of scientists and innovators in that particular segment. We’ve got excellent approaches today in terms of traditional API, chemical pharmaceuticals as well as biologicals but I think the challenge in pharma is that we need to ramp up our investment tenfold, the kind of facilities created in Korea, in Singapore, they all are world class today. We need to accelerate our investment. We would estimate it around atleast 10- 12 billion dollars immediately to be done for us to be competitive in new areas of biologicals. In API we are doing good that’s our forte but long range competitiveness can be questionable clearly because more and more biologicals will be taking the center stage of bioremediation and health care solutions.

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