An invention is a term for a new product or process, that is new or improvement on the existing one.
Since time immemorial, man has been on a constant quest for better means of livelihood. For improving the standard of living man has been on a constant endeavour for improving the ways of working and comforts in his life. In order to fulfill this quest, he has devised innumerable simple and complex machines ranging from potter’s wheel to smartphones, as well as processes for making a product.
Inventions are needed in society because of the need to save time and effort in doing things and for the well being of human civilization as per the popular proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention ‘.
Patent is the exclusive right given to the inventor for making, using or selling an invention and prevent its copying and commercial use by others. It is an agreement between the state and the inventor. A patent is needed for protecting the rights of the inventor in lieu of his time and physical as well as financial efforts involved in making the invention possible. It grants rights to the inventor for commercial use of the invention, for a certain period of time usually twenty years. After the lapse of the term of the patent, the invention falls in the public domain and can be used by anyone. So granting of patent is beneficial to the entire mankind as a whole.
Earlier in the absence of procedures, inventors would generally keep their inventions secret to prevent anyone from copying their inventions and claiming as their own. So the know how of the invention in this way would remain secret always. Leonardo da Vinci prevented his inventions from being copied and being wrongly used by deliberately introducing faults in drawings and using reverse handwriting (mirror writing). So, patents are incentive to the inventors to prevent the inventor from keeping the invention a secret.
Our country doesn’t have any dearth of inventors and opportunities to these inventors in terms of good research institutes. Even in the rural and not so privileged class of people, there is no lack of talent as is evident from the number of jugaad innovations taking place every day in such settings. One man devised a tree climbing machine, another made a car from locally available material and the list goes on. In business schools jugaad is being referred as ‘frugal innovation’. It must be noted that jugaad is not always a quick fix solution but many times it is a smart innovation, which must be recognised and patented.
One of the measures of a country’s progress is its scientific progress, which in turn is measured by innovations and patents granted. In 2020 China had the most patents granted followed by USA and Japan. Consequently, China has been in the forefront of most progressing nations as far as economic progress is concerned and making rapid strides towards becoming the most developed country in the world. So, the need of the hour is more and more patentable innovations, that can be commercially exploited thereby benefitting the patentee as well the country as a whole. A patentee may sell or license the granted patent and earn money from it.
Our country is also progressing steadily and surely towards a better future, with 42 startups becoming unicorns in the year 2021. With a total of 82 unicorns, PM Modi declared Jan 16 as national startup day during the startup India innovation week. There has been a steady growth in India’s innovations, as is evident from the number of patents granted in 2013-14 was 4000 while in the year 2021, 28000 patents were granted and India stands 7th in the world in the numbers of patents granted. India now stands at 46th rank in global innovation index rising from the 81st rank.
So, more and more inventions leading to patents is the prerequisite for a progress towards a brighter future for the innovators, country and the general public as a whole.
The views are that of author’s own and not necessarily the views of IPTSE Academy. This blog is a platform for academic discussions and hence authors have been given flexibility to convey their thought process.
WoS-C , 12th Batch