With India grappling with a massive backlog of Intellectual Property Rights applications, the Government today said patent pendency would be brought down to the same level as in advanced countries such as the US and Japan in the next 18 months.
“We have a huge pendency of IPR. We have just recruited close to a 1,000 patent examiners and we are outsourcing to the IITs.
“In 18 months time we will bring our patent pendency to exactly the same level as in the US and Japan. And in about a year’s time we will bring trademark pendency down to zero level,” DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said at the Start-up India conference here.
About 2.46 lakh patent applications and 5.32 lakh trademark registrations were pending (as on November 1, 2015) due to shortage of manpower. On the other hand, the pendency level is quite low in developed countries such as the US and Japan.
Kant was moderating a session where Secretaries from various departments including Economic Affairs, Financial Services, MSME, Corporate Affairs, and HRD were responding to queries.
MSME Secretary Anup K Pujari said the new single-page registration form in the ministry has become extremely popular and efforts were on to further simplify it.
Replying to a question, SIDBI CMD K Shivaji said the Small Industries Development Bank of India is “quite active” across different phases of the start-up lifecycle, including incubation and early-stage funding.
“With the big action that SIDBI has undertaken with the support of the government and RBI, we have been able to launch the ‘India Aspiration Fund’ with a corpus of Rs. 2,000 crore.
“Right now we have been able to commit more than Rs. 1,100 crore and of this, all together 25 venture funds have been committed and their projects are now going forward,” he said.
When asked what would be done to ensure that start-ups are not limited to cities such as Bengaluru and Gurgaon, HRD Secretary V S Oberoi said his ministry would provide the backup, handholding, and other help to young entrepreneurs.
“Our effort is to spread this across India…In the next few months I would see a strong element of support that incidentally is not metro or big city oriented. It is really out there (other parts of the country) we hope to concentrate,” he added.