Given the gradual improvements in the standards of IPR governance, there is a good potential that India will become a rather attractive market for foreign inventors in the near future, driving up the filing volumes and demand for IP specialists.
As for the current trends in the Indian patent industry, 211 local IP law firms together handled approximately 171,837 applications between 2016 and 2020. According to the overall number of filings prosecuted per year, there was an average increase of almost 3% in the considered time frame. The sharpest rise in the volumes occurred between 2016 and 2017 and accounted for 14%. Indian firms’ patenting activities followed the increasing trajectory until 2019 and might demonstrate a higher average growth but dropped by almost 18% between 2019 and 2020 due to internal economic hardships.
According to IP Pilot’s comprehensive data on filings’ representation, the Top 50 Indian IP law firms prosecuted 90% of the total filings represented in the country between 2016 and 2020. The largest 15 handled roughly 73% of the overall volume. The high ratios signal a somewhat stronger concentration of prosecution work at the hands of the most prominent Indian associates.
The list of the top 5 representatives in the country remained stable. DEPENNING & DEPENNING, REMFRY & SAGAR, K&S PARTNERS, LAKSHMIKUMARAN & SRIDHARAN, and ANAND AND ANAND ADVOCATES were the most significant patent firms throughout the considered time frame. The five leaders prosecuted more than 2,000 filings per year. Considering the average numbers between 2016 and 2020, DEPENNING & DEPENNING and REMFRY & SAGAR handled 4,202 and 4,024 patent applications yearly and were the leaders and close competitors in this respect.
Approximately 73% of all the filings prosecuted by Indian associates had foreign origins and 27% – domestic ones. Following the same lines, more than 60% of patent applications represented by each of the top 15 Indian IP law firms separately originated from abroad. KHURANA & KHURANA and R. K. DEWAN & COMPANY, however, were the two exceptions. The agents handled 42% and 53% of foreign filings and, thus, found a balance between local and international applications in their portfolio. KAN & KRISHME, REMFRY & SAGAR, and CHADHA & CHADHA, ADVOCATES were more focused on working for clients from abroad. For those representatives, the share of handled foreign versus domestic patent filings was higher than 87%. Worth noting, despite the high ratio of represented applications from international clients, most of the upper 10 patent firms in the rank also were leaders in terms of the number of prosecuted domestic filings. This might be the case due to the overall high volumes handled by those most prominent agents.