Applying Intellectual Rigour: Materialising Innovative Ideas into Valuable Patents

All of you would have enjoyed the wonderful launch of and the powerful ability that it offers to our customers and partners. As your CTO, I am excited about the dialogues that we have around various aspects of technology as a whole and how we are looking to shape our industry using our technologies.

We are one of the few financial technology companies that heavily invest in R&D with a healthy streak of innovative solution building. In today’s note, I want to share my thoughts about a key aspect of innovation – Patents.

I recently stumbled upon an interesting article about patent filing in India – According to Nasscom’s India patents report, Indian companies have filed 1.38 million tech patents in the country and over 9,500 in the US in the last five years! And this has seen huge growth in 2021 and 2022.

And what intrigued me is that with the nature of innovations and the R&D spend that we do, we should be one of the key players in filing patents around our innovations. Unfortunately, we seem to have missed the trick of registering our innovations into patents. For example, one of our competitors (a service-led organisation also working in IP creation) has been accelerating its patent filing over the last couple of years. I believe it is time that we bring about a shift in our thought process around patents.

Let’s shift our thought process:
Our focus has been on IP creation and we have revelled and celebrated it to the hilt. The analysts have also recognised the quality of our offerings and provided excellent ratings. There is no dearth of ideas or concepts in our associates. In this entire journey, the pause needed to reflect on our unique ideas and innovations and recording the same as patents have somehow not been a focus area.

There are multiple instances where patents were filed on areas that our “logical” minds may not recognise as patentable. One such instance is the case where in 1997, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a patent to two researchers from the University of Mississippi for the use of turmeric as a wound healing agent! This sounds illogical to us who have been using Turmeric for its antiseptic and healing needs for ages. But the researchers felt they had identified something unique and did not shy away from filing for a patent.

Need of the hour: Transforming our ideas into patents:
The turmeric case mentioned was not to debate whether it is a good or bad patent. Rather it gives us interesting insights –

  • It does not matter whether the idea/thought process is small or big. Every idea is a potentially patentable idea.
  • What does matter is that before the idea becomes “common knowledge”, the filing for a patent should be done. Otherwise, it will be contested and rejected.
  • Even if the idea is a small idea, if its utility is non-obvious as something that has historically not been thought of or runs counter to the state-of-the-art, it could be considered as a patentable idea. Thus, “patent thinking” is a good skill to internalize.

Let’s use this new Financial Year with a new outlook to have more patents coming out of each of our innovation factories! It is a badge of honour for us to showcase against our name patent filings that we have triggered around our innovations!

krishna Rajaraman Mob
Krishna Rajaraman
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Intellect Design Arena Ltd