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IT firms yet to take patent benefit

Visakhapatnam: Even though the AP IT policy promises reimbursement for filing patent costs up to Rs 5 lakh, IT companies are yet to utilise the benefit offered by the state government. According to a senior IT official, not even a single IT company utilised the benefit in the state.

According to the AP IT policy 2014-2020, “The cost of filing patents will be reimbursed to the companies having their headquarters in AP, subject to a limit of Rs 5 lakh per domestic patent awarded and Rs 10 lakh per international patent awarded.”

However, speaking at a programme organised by AP Trade Development Corporation and CII Vizag Zone, CEO of AP IT and Electronics Society Srinivasa Murthy said he hadn’t seen any company make use of the benefit ever since the policy was unveiled by the state government. He said that even startups can make use of the patent filing costs reimbursed by the state government.

“AP government gives up to Rs 12 lakh for patent registration. I have not seen anybody coming for this in the last 8 months,” he said.

According to members of the IT industry, lack of awareness and possible bureaucratic hurdles may be among reasons for nobody coming forward to take the benefits of the proposal.

Speaking to TOI, representative of an IT company based out Vizag said, “We have filed several patents during the last few years. But the registration of patents takes time. There is an ambiguity on whether companies established earlier will also be offered this benefit or if it is available only for newly started firms.”

Also, he said, “Many of the companies are probably not aware of the benefits offered for patents. At the same time, the number of companies involved in innovation are only a handful due to which there may be very less takers.”

Another senior IT executive said, “The process of filing for patents itself is quite a laborious process and most companies wouldn’t think of applying for the benefit for the state government unless it is straight forward. Going by the past experiences with government agencies, not many would dare to apply unless it is made as seamless as the single desk policy being implemented by AP.” He said, “But, it can be a driver for growth, if the IT department focuses on giving wider publicity to the programme.”

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