92,534 start-ups have been recognised in India’s dynamic and creative start-up ecosystem since 2016. There were 44 domestic unicorns in 2021, and more than $72 billion was made through the sale of start-ups. Research and development in emerging technical fields are supported by government programmes including the “Startup India” project, the Scheme for Facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP), and the Technology Development project.
With a position of 40th in the 2022 edition of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index, India has been continuously improving. Global standardisation offers Indian start-ups the chance to influence future technical advancements, pay less in royalties from the manufacture of goods, or make money by licensing out standardised technology to third parties. The 5G network and Versatile Video Coding (VVC) are two examples of worldwide technical standards.
Start-ups might have a bigger impact on the manufacturing of telecom components and equipment. According to the Telecommunications Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), just 16% of the demand for domestic telecommunication equipment is being satisfied by Indian businesses, and fewer than 5% of recently founded start-ups are hardware-focused.
Start-ups should concentrate their efforts on the R&D of standardised technology and grant licences to others for the resulting patents to address this. India lags behind IP-intensive nations like China, Singapore, Israel, and the US in the commercialisation of IP, according to the TSDSI’s White Paper. A patent pool could be a solution to make licensing simpler for start-ups. Patent pools assemble patents from many owners and licence them all together in one go.
A patent pool may be organised and managed by independent administrators on behalf of its participants, as in the case of Avanci, a licencing platform created with the purpose of licencing 2G to 4G SEPs to automakers. Patent pools are not a one-size-fits-all solution, though; if parties feel they can obtain a better deal bilaterally negotiating or if they have matching portfolios for cross-licensing.
Through financial incentives for SMEs, advice on the value of taking part in international standardisation, and encouragement of start-ups to create solutions above and beyond the standards created by other businesses, the Indian government could play a role in promoting international pool participation and technology commercialisation. This encouraging environment could progressively encourage businesses to invest in future standardised fields and switch to technology-licensing business models.