The Indian Economy Blog

August 16, 2005

The Patent Glut in Pharma

Filed under: Intellectual property rights — Reuben Abraham @ 5:31 pm

If you’re looking for the state of Intellectual property development in a country, a good place to look is the patent office and the number of patent applications being filed. The newest reports from the drug/pharma industry holds very good news for India. Of course, we all know that the Indian pharma industry is very competitive, but I certainly did not know that India filed the second largest number of patent applications in the industry after the United States. This report does not mention whether these are applications filed in the U.S., India, world-wide etc, and neither does it mention anything about the number of patents actually granted. It doesn’t provide a source for these numbers either. So, take it with a pinch of salt, but here are the world’s top 10 IP creators in the pharmaceuticals industry, if this report can be believed.


  1. Very interesting.I never thought India would figure in the top 5.India needs to implement a strict IPR regime if it wants to foster innovation because there is little incentive to innovate if there is no IPR regime…

    Comment by cogito — August 16, 2005 @ 11:22 pm

  2. Cogito, the IPR issue is very tricky. Remember the United States built its economy into the powerhouse it became with an extremely weak IPR regime and openly flouting patents and the like. There is also a good deal of research out there that indicates the benefits of patents and a strict IPR regime may not be as great as it seems.

    Comment by Reuben — August 17, 2005 @ 12:22 am

  3. There are patents and there are patents. Quantity and quality are two different things.

    Comment by PacRim Jim — August 17, 2005 @ 1:28 am

  4. Could you please elaborate on why a strict IPR regime may not be beneficial? Asking out of curiosity, because the reasons are not very obvious to me.

    Comment by sumeet — August 17, 2005 @ 1:30 am

  5. Sumeet, here is a good article for you to start with, that argues both the pros and cons —,39024662,39171460,00.htm

    You can also Richard Stallman on the subject of software patents.

    There is also research that looked at the United States’s IP protections in the 19th century. If I find soft copies, I’ll post those as well.

    Comment by Reuben — August 17, 2005 @ 1:54 am

  6. And here’s Richard Posner on the subject —

    Brian Kahin’s essay from First Monday —

    This is my advisor, Richard Nelson’s take on the subject.

    The traditional costs (market concentration) and benefits (innovation) associated with IPRs protection, in particular patent protection, are often approached in a simplistic manner. The trade-offs are much more complex. There are, for example, costs related to patent protection in fostering innovations. One case is biotechnology, where the movement of proprietary rights into scientific processes makes innovation more costly. To put it differently, patents can increase transaction costs of R&D. From a policy perspective, such adverse effects of patent on innovation can be reduced by establishing smooth, easy, and cheap means for licensing.

    The third issue concerns the effect of IPRs on firms in developing countries to climb the technological ladder. In order to assess this one should address the following questions. How did countries in the past move from a technological follower to a leader? What role does imitation play in early stages of development and how do countries move from imitation to innovation and climb the ladder? And in this context, what is the role of IPRs?

    Comment by Reuben — August 17, 2005 @ 2:09 am

  7. Well really india needs good ipr rules….few days back the court ordered for decentralization of indian trademark office. which is a real good.

    Comment by Srinath — January 28, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  8. There was an article about a small american manufacturers in wsj a few years ago.
    cant find the link but the summary is

    There was a tinkerer in ohio who invented a mechanical widget.
    The fella used his wife as a model for the widget he made.
    In 2 years the husband and wife operation has good sales and grows to a 20 person operation and and the decides to check out a trade show in mainland china to lookfor oppurtunity
    He was surprised to find some selling the same widget in the same packaging and using same advertising material including logo and pictures of his wife selling the widget!

    It was quite hillarious story!

    Comment by Guru Gulab Khatri — January 30, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  9. India’s patent filings increased from 390 to 497 out of 1,32,861 PCT patents. But filings by Indian citizens filling for patents worldwide fell from 723 to 564. Most of these are filing by Government institutions and are predominantly non-commercial kind that has no commercial relevance.

    I have highlighted India (IN) in the attached WIPO PCT document. Pages 6&8 for Indians and 18 for India.

    So India is nowhere on Intellectual Property Map of the world.

    Comment by Ravinder Singh — February 10, 2006 @ 11:56 am

  10. I want to know about Mr. Ravinder Singh who claims himself as WIPO approved inventor

    Comment by Kalyan Panda — May 27, 2006 @ 6:42 pm

  11. nice one…but this year also patent registration is on rise especially in pharmas

    Comment by Trademarks — August 12, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  12. perfect blonde ass

    Comment by Males — December 8, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WP Hashcash

Powered by WordPress