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India Unveils AI Patents Report

To provide an understanding of the patent landscape of artificial intelligence in India, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) Research and INDIAai unveiled a special report titled ‘AI Patents – Driving Emergence of India as an AI Innovation Hub’.

The report provided a broad outlook of the techno-legal field of AI patents and included the key trends across several patents, assignees, and application areas. The report uncovered insights about the active AI patent landscape driven by the growing awareness to protect intellectual property.

From a vertical perspective, consumer electronics, personal computing devices, and healthcare lead the AI patent filings in India, as per the report. With a 93% share, machine learning is the most popular AI technique while computer vision is the leading functional area with a share of 36%. Moreover, 63% of all granted patents belong to multinational corporations.

According to the report, India is ranked 8th in the world for AI patent filing and 4th in terms of AI research papers. AI patent filing in India will maintain an upward trajectory as the country is emerging as a key destination for AI innovation. The government has identified AI identified as one of the most potent weapons to fight against the multiple challenges that the country is facing. Some of the noticeable examples are tools like the MyGov Corona Helpdesk, Aarogya Setu, and CoWin that the government is leveraging to combat the ongoing pandemic.

However, to stay ahead and build a strong AI-ready future, innovation must be fostered, the report said. Patents are considered as one of the primary ways of measuring innovation and efforts must be channelised to encourage and empower AI innovators in the country. In 2020, the government increased the outlay for Digital India to US$477 million to boost AI, IoT, big data, cybersecurity, machine learning, and robotics. India’s flagship digital initiative aims to make the internet more accessible, promoting e-governance, e-banking, e-education, and e-health.

More than 70% of the technology patents filed in India relate to one or more emerging technology domains. At an international level, patent filing grew by 4% in the year 2020. Interestingly, AI accounts for 6% of all emerging tech patents in India. Further, over 5,000 AI patents were filed over the last decade in India, out of which 94% of them were filed in the last five years.

The report also highlighted some of the successful AI patents in India that have been applied to the industries. The most notable ones being Niramai Health Analytx and Grahaa Space. Niramai Health Analytx has been granted four patents in India and ten in the United States.

The major patent NIRAMAI was developed based on technology for detecting early-stage breast cancer in a radiation-free manner through an AI-based analysis of thermal images. Grahaa Space has done a provisional filing of its system and method to stream high-resolution videos from low earth orbit. The proposed system consists of a cluster of earth observation nanosatellites that is capable of streaming high-resolution videos of client-defined areas of interest.

NASSCOM Research is the in-house research and analytics arm of NASSCOM – the industry association for the IT-BPM sector in India. INDIAai is the national artificial intelligence portal of India set up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

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