Domestic firms increasingly looking to get US patents

Domestic firms increasingly looking to get US patents


Bangalore: A confident Indian Inc, boosted by sustained high growth, seems willing to shed its lethargy as many domestic firms are looking to obtain US patents with a view to protecting their interests as they go about expanding their global presence, US law experts have said.

“In the backdrop of India going global and Indian companies making 141 overseas acquisitions in 2005, it is becoming increasingly imperative for Indian companies to apply for US patents," Anand Sharma, a partner with the US law firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garret and Dunner said.

About three quarters of acquisitions conducted by Indian companies since 2003 have been cross-border. The value of Indian cross-border Merger and Acquisition deals in the first 10 months of 2006 was $23 billion (Rs crore), he said.

Around 32% of all foreign M&As from 1995 to August 2006 has taken place in North America, indicating that Indian firms would go in for more US patents to safeguard their interest given their expanding portfolio.

Owing to its economic prowess, a US patent is valuable for Indian firms in terms of increasing attractiveness to potential global partners, to protect or create a market share, protect technology, provide deterrence to others and allow an option of cross licensing if accused of infringement

India had just four US patent grants in 1980,which increased to 23 in 1990. The number dramatically increased to 403 in 2005 and 506 in 2006. The total US patent grant tally for India is 2,831 as of now, Robert Converse of the firm said during a seminar on the “The Value of US Patents in a Global Economy."