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October 16, 2006

Patent agents to the rescue

Businessworld has an article on how a new breed of scientifically qualified patent agents are making life easier for companies that are looking protect their IP.

But India is facing an acute shortage of patent agents and does not have many qualified in the sciences. There are only 928 registered patent agents in the country, but merely 250 are said to be practising actively. Even less are from a science background. That’s too small a number to cater to India’s increasing investments in research. Last year alone, 27,846 patents were published in India. And in the last three years, it is estimated that over 50,000 patent applications were filed and the number is rising. A patent usually takes about 18 months to be published.

Firms such as Innovar IP Consulting and Brain League IP Services have hired around 20 IP agents with a technology background, including PhDs and scientists. Both firms handle more than 150 applications each from clients (including many small businesses) every year. And the number is increasing.

...A patent agent could charge anything between $1,500 and $5,000 for an end-to-end solution relating to a patent grant in India. In the US, for example, a patent agent’s service ranges from $10,000 to $40,000 based on technology and it may go up to $100,000.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, which tracks private equity and venture capital in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.