Center is planning on launching a scheme to fund 10,000 patent applications every year from all educational institutions. The telos behind this step is to encourage higher education institutions in India to improve their global rankings by excelling in research. It is also aimed at encouraging protection of intellectual property among students and faculty members.
The Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC), M Jagadeesh Kumar said “Under this scheme, faculty members and students from higher education institutions can seek government funding to patent their innovations.” He also went on to say that “Around 10,000 patent applications will be funded by the commission annually.”
Kumar also said “In our university system, we majorly focus on publishing papers. But today, the ecosystem has changed. We also need to protect our intellectual properties. Therefore, we are encouraging students and faculty members to go for patenting through this upcoming scheme.”
For A K Prasad, the chairperson of Intellectual Property Rights at Delhi University, this is a welcome move. “This way the commercial value of the patent can be evaluated. This may also help in commercialisation of more patents,” he said. However, the maintenance of patents is a bigger problem than filing them as it requires annual maintenance fee.
“The moment a patent is filed, it requires constant input of money because you will have to pay against every inquiry and revision. Once it is published, it requires a maintenance fee for around 20 years, and that maintenance is the major problem in our system. If you have a project, you can file a patent, but let’s say tomorrow the project gets over, then you can’t maintain it. The UGC should also cover maintenance under the proposed scheme,” says Prasad.