Tell me about patents at IITM

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. IIT Madras has recorded a doubling of patents granted during the 2023 calendar year, with the number rising to 300 in 2023 from 156 in 2022. Since its inception, IITM has filed around 2,550 IP (including patent) applications both in India (1800) and abroad (750) since its inception. Out of these, 1,100 are registered IPs/granted patents, consisting of 900 Indian and 200 International patents.

The Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR) at IIT Madras coordinates the different aspects related to Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, and collaborates with faculty, researchers, and students. It also has a dedicated Legal Cell.

Research at IIT Madras is always flourishing, especially with our pool of talented professors and students. Let’s take a look at some of these talented individuals.

Prof. T. Pradeep of the Department of Chemistry at IIT Madras and a Padma Shree awardee has filed more than 100 Indian patent applications since 2004, 50 international patent applications since 2005, and received almost 100 grants overall! One of the patents issued by him and his students in 2023 is ‘A selective and efficient process for the extraction of noble metal ions from complex mixtures’, which is a significant contribution towards recycling e-waste to recover noble metals such as gold and silver.

Prof. Parasuraman Swaminathan, from the Metallurgical & Materials Engineering department, was granted four patents in 2023. ‘Single layer flexible display and method of manufacturing the same’ was one of these patents.Their invention provides a less complex, lightweight, and low power consuming display device and a simple, less complex method of manufacturing it.

Research labs at IITM have also been making waves in healthcare technologies. Part of this was the patent for ‘Image-free ultrasound for non-invasive assessment of early vascular health markers’ granted to Prof. Jayaraj Joseph, from the department of Electrical Engineering, last year.