Learning from the Indian Experience
Edited by Tojo Thatchenkery and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 11: Intellectual Property in the Indian Software Industry: Past Role and Future Need
Stanley Nollen* INTRODUCTION In clusters of modern low- and high-rise ofﬁce buildings set amid acres of lush greenery here, thousands of engineers are hard at work, writing software for the latest telephones, designing next-generation microprocessors, and developing wireless broadband technology. The work of these engineers is generating significant amounts of intellectual property (IP) for US companies like Cisco Systems, General Electric, IBM, Intel, Motorola, and Texas Instruments – whose various Indian units have ﬁled more than 1 000 patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Ofﬁce. Some applications, with patents already granted, date to the early 1990s. But most applications from India have been ﬁled in the last two years and still await decisions by the patent examiners in Washington, DC. New York Times, December 15, 2003 As shown in the news story, there is a growing interest among US companies to locate some of their software development activities in India. According to a Dataquest report, multinational development centers in India ﬁled 845 patents in the ﬁscal year 2003 and 1 216 in ﬁscal 2004. In contrast, Indian companies ﬁled an unusually small number of 104 patents applications (Dataquest, July 15, 2004, p. 150). Three questions are discussed in this chapter. • How much IP has been created by the Indian software industry in the past and how much do we expect to be created in the near future? • How well protected is software IP in India? • What role has IP played in the growth and development of the...
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