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184 Indian, International patents filed from IIT-Madras despite COVID-19 lockdown

Students, faculty and researchers of IIT-Madras have filed 184 patents in the year when India witnessed strict COVID-19 lockdowns. 

With 184 Indian and International patents being filed in 2020, it had just fallen short of the 2019 figure by six patents. 

This trend also highlights a steady and multi-fold increase from the 22 patents folded in the year 2017. 

IIT patents

Nine of the patents filed in 2020 were related to COVID-19 and they included ‘Systems and methods for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’ and ‘A standalone, portable single-use and wireless ventilator system’ besides ‘A system for non-invasive calibration-free blood pressure measurement’ and ‘Smart and Sustainable devices for infectious Mask and PPE waste treatment.’

Over the years, IIT Madras has created an ecosystem that encourages and facilitates its researchers towards filing patents. 

It is driven by the translational and transformational research undertaken by the faculty members and researcher scholars in areas that are relevant to the industry.

Besides medical and healthcare, several patents were also filed in other cutting-edge areas such as 5G, telecommunications, sensors and instrumentation etc. 

The institute owes this success to the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research(ICSR), that has undertaken initiatives to drive the increase in patents being filed in India and abroad. 

A dedicated IP cell conducts awareness programmes regularly to sensitize students and faculty members on the importance of IP protection and monetization. 

In 2020, the Cell instituted work from home immediately after lockdown and took all activities completely online to ensure smooth functioning, said the institute. 

Speaking about patents filing during 2020, Prof. Ravindra Gettu, Dean (ICSR), IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras has facilitated continuous support to its faculty members and students for patent filing over the last decade. The innovations at the Institute have resulted in the filing of 184 patents (Indian and International) during the year 2020. The extensive research related to COVID-19, has led to the Institute shortlisting nine IDF (Invention Disclosure Form) to be filed during the year 2020.”

The IIT Madras in-house IP analytics team also provides support to Inventors with a report of comprehensive ‘prior art’ search results. This helps inventors understand the patentability of their inventions and also helps to design around, if needed, before filing patent applications.

Among the measures taken to facilitate hassle-free filing of patents were Organizing online IDF (Invention Disclosure Form) meetings where inventors can submit their invention to IP Cell online for review and feedback, which reduces the turn-around time for approval and filing of patents. 

Virtual Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) meetings were held to help applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions. 

By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in over 150 member countries. 

IIT Madras said that they facilitate e-filing of Provisional applications at Indian patent offices and are also equipped to perform in-house management of patent maintenance and filing of working statements of patents. 

The Institute has also empanelled reputed IP firms for patent application filings, prosecutions of patent application, maintenance (Foreign) and providing IP activities-related support.

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Source: Zee News