Tata Consultancy Services

Headquarters: Mumbai, India

Industry sector: Information technology

A keystone of India’s signature export industry, information technology, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is also one of the country’s most astute IP owners. In a market where domestic patent filings remain very low, TCS is head and shoulders above the competition. In 2013-2014 the company filed more than twice as many applications as its next-closest domestic rival. And being among the nation’s top patent filers is no mean feat given India’s tough restrictions on patents in the field of software – TCS’s core offering. As a business-to-business focused company, strong patent protection is not an option – customers are very anxious to know that the product they are being sold is IP safe. Like other Indian companies, it also engages extensively with the open source community. Making an offering open-source is a decision made by a centralised committee based on business imperatives, and its offerings include a judicious mix of proprietary and open source components. If India’s IP system becomes more receptive to software patents in the near future – which looks like a distinct possibility – expect TCS , with its skilful IP function, to be one of the biggest beneficiaries.