About 2.46 lakh patent applications, 5.32 lakh trademark registrations pending due to manpower shortage: minister

About 2.46 lakh patent applications and 5.32 lakh trademark registrations were pending with the government due to manpower shortage, minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitaraman informed Parliament today.

The minister's revelation comes against the backdrop of India's ranking in the Global Innovation Index falling to 81 in 2015 from 64 in 2012. The GII ranks 141 economies around the world and uses 79 indicators across a range of themes.

The rankings are based on data collected during earlier years and thus do not truly reflect the status in the country in 2015, Sitaraman said, adding that several patent and trademark applications are also pending due to a shortage of manpower at the patents office.  

"There is pendency in patent and trademark applications, which are disposed of with the available manpower and infrastructure. The pendency as on November 1, is 2,46,495 in patent applications and 5,32,682 in trademark applications.

"This pendency is primarily due to shortage of manpower. The government has taken measures to augment available manpower and other necessary infrastructure," commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitahraman said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The government, she said, had sanctioned 373 additional posts in the patent wing, including 252 posts of examiners of patents and designs and 76 posts of controllers of patents and designs.

"Recruitment process to fill 459 vacant posts of examiners of patents and designs is underway. besides, as a short-term measure, 263 contractual posts of examiners of patents and designs have also been created," she said.

Also, according to her, amendments had been proposed in both the patent rules as also trade mark rules to streamline procedures for filing and disposal of applications.

She said India had granted 3,581 patents and registered 37,799 trademarks during this financial year till 31 October.

In the same period India had rejected 605 patent applications and 6,543 trademark registrations.