The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) have announced the findings of their latest report titled, IoT: Driving the Patent Growth Story in India. There have been about 6,000 IoT patents filed in India from 2009-2019 of which over 5,000 were filed in the last five years. Over 80 per cent of these patents filed were related to applications pertaining to Industry 4.0 with the healthcare and automobile industry leading the way.

Over 70 per cent of the total patents filed in India were from R&D centers of global companies, Indian companies and start-ups accounted for about 7 per cent of patents. 95 per cent of IoT patents relate to hardware components with connectivity network and sensors being the leading sub-technologies. Manufacturers of electronics and electrical equipment, semiconductor devices, and computer and telecom equipment, together accounted for over 60 per cent of the IoT patents filed in India by business entities over 2009-19, while the share for IT-ITeS companies stood at 13 per cent.

Announcing the launch of the report, Debjani Ghosh, president, NASSCOM, said, “Innovation has always been at the forefront of fighting any crisis. Emerging technologies such as IoT, AI, Blockchain and others are playing a crucial role in enabling an interconnected world as well as creating the new-normal. This report is part of our series of reports that track patent filing trends in the country across emerging technologies. I am confident that the IoT innovation specially with focus in healthcare and manufacturing will gain more impetus in the tech enabled new normal.”

Over 40 per cent of the total IoT patents filed in the country have been granted, with global companies accounting for 90 per cent of them. In terms of applications areas patents pertaining to smart electrical appliances and smart wearables lead in the home automation category. Disaster prevention is one of the key areas which can use IoT in assisting epidemiologists to trace patient zero and the affected contacts by overlaying geographic information system on IoT mobile data. Smart cellular wrist bands can also help in effective quarantine compliance.

Patent filing will also see an increase in the coming years primarily driven by healthcare, automation, manufacturing and supply chain, 5G and security systems. IoT innovation will help countries rebound in the post-COVID era, with an increased focus in healthcare and hygiene. Healthcare will be modernised with tele health and remote patient monitoring, through devices such as connected thermometers, advanced data collection and processing and smart wearables. Tracking people’s health conditions through sensor enabled screening systems, and use of sensors to increase contactless common touchpoints, will be crucial from a public safety perspective. Monitoring the health of workers through protective gears as well as monitoring automated machines remotely, tracking locations of goods will witness increased use of IoT from supply chain and manufacturing stand.