India grants 3,500 pharma patents in three yrsThe Indian Patent Office (IPO) has granted 3,506 patents relating to pharmaceutical innovations over the last three years, the government said today.

IPO has granted a total 3,506 patent to pharmaceutical innovations in the country over last three years, ranging from 2006-07 fiscal to 2008-09 and the first three months of the current fiscal, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma said.

"Patent are granted to inventions, which meet the criteria of novelty and inventive step industrial application," the minister said in reply to a written question in the lower house of Parliament today.

The minister said this year till June, the patent office received 259 applications for product patents and 73 of them were granted.

The number of product patents, which includes both the product and the method used for production, has improved since 2006-07.Of the 10,400 product patent applications received over the last three years, 789 were granted in 2006-07 while 1,469 in 2007-08. The number of patents for 2008-09 fell marginally to 1,166, Sharma informed the Lok Sabha.

During the last three years, the country has granted a total 41,030 patents in different fields, as per the data available with the Ministry.