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PATENTS IN AVIATION INDUSTRY IN INDIA

The Aviation Industry in India

The Aviation sector contributes $72 billion to the Indian economy as only the passenger traffic in India amounted to $316.51 million during the period of April 2018 – February 2019. 4.9%, 4.5% and 3.1% increase has been observed in aircraft movement, passenger traffic and freight traffic respectively if the numbers of February 2018 are compared to February 2019 across all Indian airports collectively. A considerable amount of employment and income is also generated within the economy from the maintenance, repair and overhaul industry as it is expected to grow more and amount to $1.2 billion by 2020 and lead to India becoming the 3rd largest aviation market by 2024.[1]

There are 91 international carriers who have their presence in India out of which only 5 are domestically owned as India has 344 connectivity routes with 59 countries. Rapid growth has been seen in the Air traffic in India and further, one hundred more airports were vowed to be developed by 2024 to support the Udaan scheme.

Key investments and developments[2]that have taken place in India’s aviation industry are as follows:

  • In December 2019, AAI announced it’s plans to set up in Andaman & Nicobar India’s first three water aerodrome.
  • From December 2019, Safran group having it’s base in will be investing $150 million in a new aircraft MRO unit to serve to its airlines need.
  • In November 2019, the Competition Commission of India approved the acquisition by Adani Properties Private Limited of shareholdings in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
  • In 2018 – 19, AAI is planning to invest $ 2.32 billion for expanding existing terminals and constructing 15 new ones.
  • In June 2018, India has become a signatory to the Open sky agreement with Australia making it impossible for airlines on either side to the agreement unlimited seats to six Indian metro cities and various Australian cities as well.

Government Initiatives in the field of Aviation Industry in India:

The major initiatives[3] undertaken by the Indian Government are as follows:

  • In reference to the Union Budget 2020-21, the Indian Government launched the “Krishi Udan scheme” on both domestic and international level to ensure help farmers for moving agricultural products and improving the product value as well.
  • In reference to the Union Budget 2019-20, the Indian Government will be undertaking financing and leasing activities of Aircrafts to make India’s aviation market self-established.
  • In February 2019, the new Greenfield airport in Hissar, Gujarat had been sanctioned with an estimated investment of $ 194.73 million.
  • From January 2019, the Indian government has been developing a blueprint to promote manufacturing of aircrafts domestically and financing within the nation as well.
  • In January 2019, the Indian government arranged the Global Aviation Summit, Mumbai in which participation of over 1,200 delegates had been observed from over 83 countries.
  • In January 2019, the Indian Government has released the National Air Cargo Policy Outline 2019 establishing more efficient and cost based Indian air cargo and logistics for the coming decade.

The innovation in the Aviation Industry in India:

Redefining of mobility is an essential as innovating the technologies and approaches are needed to develop cutting – edge technology, an example of which could be an autonomous devices and ultra light materials hence, create opportunities to modify the mobility system which would help enable the business models and mobility services as well. Robotics, the internet, unmanned aircrafts systems, electric airplanes, artificial intelligence and push for hybrid are a few examples of emerging technologies which are reshaping the trend.[4]

Patents in Aviation Industry in India:

The five forces of political, economic, social, political and economic factors always effect the dynamic business environment as the inventor’s development the technology overtime and enforced their IP rights to keep an edge over the competitor and license their technologies so that a new source of revenue could be generated.

In the present scenario if compared to the early decades less reliance is placed on the patent regime as focus has been shifted to optimizing the integration of complex subsystems of technologies, starting from new light-weight materials to sophisticated electronics and software systems in the quest for more affordable, eco-friendly and efficient air travel.

Patent Filing in Aviation Industry in India:

Liberalization and entry of new entrants in the commercial field, such as China have impacted supply chains immensely as the global industry is putting patent protection back on the table so as to get a better stake in the present and future technology. The said patent activation is being pushed forward by the advancing maturity of conventional aerospace technology, while addressing the technological shifts in the field of electrification and the emergence of new markets as well. Figure 1 shows aggregated patent filing data for aerospace worldwide, illustrating the rapid growth of aerospace patent activity, particularly since 2010. [5]

Fig 1: Global Aerospace Patent filing trends by country of first filing

Case Law:

In late 2011 a law suit came into play between Airbus and Aviation Partners Inc.: Aviation Partners Inc. was been sued by Plane-maker Airbus. The case was regarding the company’s patent on a fuel-saving device used on Boeing airplanes. Officials of Airbus stated Aviation Partners owners demand royalties on wing-tip devices similar to its blended winglets. Wing-tip devices called “sharklets” appear on the Airbus A320neo, an update of the company’s narrow-body aircraft.


[1]https://www.investindia.gov.in/sector/aviation

[2]https://www.ibef.org/industry/indian-aviation.aspx

[3]https://www.ibef.org/industry/indian-aviation.aspx

[4]https://www.icao.int/Meetings/FutureOfAviation/Pages/default.aspx

[5]https://www.ati.org.uk/media/o5zjy32j/insight_11-global-aerospace-patents-1.pdf

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