Call to protect IPRs of SMEs via public-private partnership

Call to protect IPRs of SMEs via public-private partnership

Emphasising the need for greater public-private partnership (PPP) in intellectual property protection of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), various speakers from the industry and the state voiced their views at a one-day workshop held here on Tuesday.

Held on the occasion of the World Intellectual Property Rights Day, the workshop was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – Andhra Pradesh Technology Development & Promotion Centre (APTDC), in association with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Small Industry Service Institute (SISI).

S Bhattacharya, commissioner of industries, government of Andhra Pradesh, said that the new industrial investment policy is rewarding technological development by reimbursing the expenses involved in filing of patents.

Apart from this, a provision with regard to temporary protection of market for patented products is also being made to enable returns.

“These are proactive measures that the state has taken so far and its contemporaries like Karnataka and West Bengal are looking at following suit,” he added.

However, PPP should be with regard to dissemination of information on intellectual property rights (IPRs) also, Bhattacharya said.

Elaborating with the example of Shakti nutmeg powder that has an IP value of Rs 60 crore and is being pursued by a multinational company for Rs 25 crore, ARK Rao, director, SISI, said that industries should go for IPRs to get good returns later.

He, however, did not deny that the maintenance cost of an IPR is high. “The greatest problem of small industries today is lack of finance. SISI, therefore, has taken up the task of identifying potential IPs that can be protected,” he said.

Calling for a synergy between private and public sectors, D Calab Gabriel, partner, K&S Partners, said, “While the public sector has the advantages of manpower, finance and access to resources, the private sector is more target-oriented and has less bureaucratic control. Hence, a synergy between the two is essential.”

“The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 in the US that has been funding universities to the tune of $3 billion for patent filing has enabled a 600 per cent increase in patent filings within five years of the Act,” Gabriel said, adding that India should, therefore, emulate a similar model.

According to Ramesh Datla, former chairman of the CII – AP, and managing director of Elico Limited, CII along with APTDC is conducting a survey to understand the needs of SMEs with regard to IP protection.

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