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Smartphones - The best sellers are still sceptical of patent filings in the Indian Market

Smartphones - The best sellers are still sceptical of patent filings in the Indian Market

Posted on: February 5, 2019

Headquartered in Bangalore, Einfolge is a global leader in offering Patent and Market Research solutions such as Patent & IPR, Market & Business Research, Clinical Data Management and Legal Data Assessment, thus enabling clients to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance business efficiencies.

India has emerged as a favourite destination for all the major Global Smartphone Companies. The current Indian market is dominated by many Chinese Smartphones brands like Vivo, Oppo, One plus, and Xiomi. It is interesting to know that Vivo, Oppo and One plus all relates 1 parental company BBK Electronics Corporation and together they are capturing the greatest pie of the market. An in-depth analysis of how these players are performing in terms of patent filings in India gives some shocking statistics.

Vivo and One plus does not have much patent activity. The reason may be their sibling Oppo has all the patents and they can easily use the technologies. Xiaomi has little presence in the patent filing and they had been sued by Ericson for patent infringement. Xiaomi have inked a deal with Nokia for buy patent portfolio. The interesting facts that the companies India Vs China filing is up to 1000 percent less in India. The findings can be for various conclusions- Are the Chinese policy forcing the players in the field to file more patents, first patent as well route international application through Chinese patent office. Another factor can be that still, most of the smartphones are made outside India and are mere assembled in India. Recently, few of these Chinese players have started ‘Made in India’ tag on their boxes after there was widespread negativity for Chinese goods in the Indian market.

"Mobile sector is one of the most important technology sectors,where the companies are sued a lot of infringement of patents"

This further reveals that the players are non-serious to file patents in India. Even big players like Apple have filed only few patents here in India. This clearly doubt if they do not consider the - IP scenario here in India as robust, friendly and strongly implemented. Mobile sector is one of the most important technology sectors, where the companies are sued a lot of infringement of patents. India being a huge demand market ideally lots of patents should have been filed to practice infringement. But it is other way round. We need to in depth analysis the reason behind this thought process.

There is a silver lining though. There is somewhat increase in the patent filing compare to last 15 year period preceding 2016. From 2000-2015, the total patent filed in Mobile industry were close to 24,000 total filed patents. Among these, 4000 were approved and majority of these granted patents held by Qualcomm, Ericcson, Samsung and Nokia. So recently, the filing has improved but it is meagre in comparison to what these players are filing in China.

The government needs to further scrutinise that the IPR policies to improve filings by the big players. This will incentivise the pet projects ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’ directly. A good manufacturing hub has to have significant patent filings by the top players in any sector. With alarming details ‘The Dragon’ seems to be far ahead of us. To match the pace, important policy decisions are the need of hour. We need to sensitive the giant to file more patents, allow expedited process for all categories filings (presently it is just for startups). This is very much needed in the mobile sector as the technology advances much faster and getting a grant early will reap benefit for the patent owner.




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