Tata Motors has reportedly applied for patent protection for over 37 inventions and innovations linked to its Nano, in what some see as an aggressive move to protect the low-cost car against imitation.

The Economic Times newspaper said that it is also close to filing intellectual property rights (IPRs) claims for Nano in overseas markets, citing company officials’ remarks.

The move is also expected to help Tata Motors to sell the car in markets such as Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, the newspaper said.

The Nano is being readied for domestic launch by the end of this month and a global launch in 2011. Tata Motors has filed more than 400 patent and design applications for its various vehicles and processes, the ET reported.

A company spokesperson told the ET: “As far as the Tata Nano is concerned, 37 inventions have been filed for patent protection so far to cover all the innovations in the car. We are also considering filing IPs on Nano in overseas locations at an appropriate time… Most of the patent applications filed before 2007 have already been granted. Further, nearly one-fifth of the patent applications are in the process of getting protection in other countries based on the marketing portfolio, scope of invention and costs involved in protection and enforcement.”

See also: HOT TOPIC: Ratan Tata’s dream gets closer

Top tip – there’s a full briefing on the subject of low-cost cars – published last year, researched and written by Mark Bursa – in the just-auto members’ management briefing area