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Australian Startups Losing Grip on India's Largest Digital Consumer Market: Capitalizing on Computer Related Inventions
Vivek Dahiya
Vivek Dahiya

Introduction

Amidst the evolving Indo-Australian trade relationship and changes in India's patent law, Australian startups in Fintech, PropTech, Digital Health, EduTech, AgriTech, CleanTech, AI & Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, E-Commerce Solutions, Mobility and Transportation Tech, Gaming and Entertainment Tech, IoT, Wearable Tech, VR/AR, Blockchain Technology, and Robotics and Automation are facing a pivotal moment. The burgeoning Indian market, with its affluent consumer base and progressive stance on patenting computer-related inventions (CRIs), offers a unique opportunity for Australian technological innovation.

The Indian Market: A Hotbed for Tech Startups

India's booming digital economy, fuelled by its affluent middle class, presents fertile ground for growth in Fintech, PropTech, Digital Health, EduTech, AgriTech, CleanTech, AI & Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, E-Commerce Solutions, Mobility and Transportation Tech, Gaming and Entertainment Tech, IoT, Wearable Tech, VR/AR, Blockchain Technology, and Robotics and Automation. These sectors are well-aligned with India's digital transformation objectives and rising digital literacy. The government's push for a digital India further amplifies the demand for innovative tech solutions.

The Role of the Indo-Australian Trade Agreement

This trade agreement is crucial, fostering bilateral trade and investment, thus creating favorable conditions for Australian startups in India. Lowered trade barriers and enhanced bilateral cooperation pave the way for easier market entry and navigation for Australian firms.

The Importance of IP Strategy in Key Sectors

In light of India's evolving patent landscape, especially the Delhi High Court's rulings, Australian startups must focus on their IP strategies. The recent legal developments allow for broader protection of software and digital innovations, crucial in sectors where technological advancement is key.

Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC v Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs (May 15 2023).“45 It is essential for the Indian Patent Office to adopt a more comprehensive approach when assessing CRIs, taking into account technical effects and contributions provided by the invention rather than solely focusing on the implementation of algorithms and computer-executable instructions. An invention should not be deemed a computer program per se merely because it involves algorithms and computer-executable instructions; rather, it should be assessed based on the technical advancements it offers and its practical application in solving real-world problems….”

Capitalizing on the Opportunity

To leverage this opening, Australian startups must quickly align their IP strategies with India's legal framework and take advantage of the Indo-Australian trade agreement benefits. This involves patenting computer related inventions in India and understanding the unique consumer dynamics in the Indian market [having 692.0 million internet users in January 2023].

The Digital Health market is anticipated to achieve a revenue of approximately US$9,390 million in 2024. It is forecasted to grow at an annual rate of 16.20% over the period from 2024 to 2028, culminating in an estimated market value of US$17,120 million by 2028. Furthermore, the expected average revenue per user (ARPU) is projected to be around US$26.99. [ Source]

Conclusion: A Strategic Imperative for Australian Startups

The convergence of India's digital market potential, the trade agreement, and the favorable patent environment creates a strategic imperative for Australian startups in key tech sectors. This scenario offers them the chance to expand globally into one of the fastest-growing digital economies, playing a significant role in India's technological advancement.

If you have PCT application related to computer related invention, then you must include India in list of national phase applications.

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About the author
Vivek Dahiya
IP Practitioner, Lawyer & IP Attorney
https://www.baxterip.com.au/attorneys/vivek-dahiya

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