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The role of intellectual property in promoting a culture of innovation

IP Committee of ASU in collaboration with School of Legal Studies & School of Biosciences organized a National Web Symposium to commemorate World IP Day on 26 April, 2022 (Tuesday).

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Apeejay Stya University (ASU) recently organised a detailed session of patent drafting, filing procedure and intellectual property commercialisation. The national web symposium was organised on the occasion of World IP Day on April 26 by the ASU IP Committee in collaboration with the School of Legal Studies and School of Biosciences.

The webinar had three industry experts as guest speakers who shared their valuable insights. The speakers were Dr Bijay K Sahu, Regional Manager and Head: UN WIPO Technology & Innovation Support Centre (TISC) and National Research Development Corporation-MoMSME Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC), Ms Isha Sharma, founder, Trayambak & Viadroit, and Mr Shiva Reddy, Senior Manager, Walter Bushnell.

The webinar began with a welcome address by Vyas M Shingatgeri, Dean, School of Biosciences, followed by an inaugural address by ASU’s Vice Chancellor Dr Raj S Dhankar. Congratulating the organisers for a “timely and important seminar”, he said, “Without R&D, a country has no future. No wonder because of lack of research and critical thinking, we are not really recognised as the leader in higher education. [We need] to reinforce our commitment to this process and do good work so that we eventually move ahead as a nation. We need to create an environment of research in universities—we need to develop that culture. Design thinking or critical thinking which is elemental to research must start at the school level. At ASU, we help faculty members to write, file and protect patents.”

Amit Singh, Associate Professor of Law, School of Legal Studies, ASU introduced the guests and elaborated on the theme of this year’s World IP Day- “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future”. “The youth must understand the benefits of intellectual property in safeguarding their creations, the competitive edge it provides and its key role in nation building…While varied initiatives by the government to strengthen the IP ecosystem have been taken, enhanced efforts are required for the Indian industry at large to capitalise on the growth-enhancing effects of innovation,” he added.

“This is an opportunity for young people to find out how IP rights can support their goals and help transform their ideas into reality,” said Mr Reddy while addressing the attendees. He gave a broad overview of patents, right from filing to grants, and patenting strategies.

“Patents are typically granted for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the application…Patents are territorial and provide protection only in countries where they have been applied for and granted. If one needs global protection, then they have to apply for a patent in each of the countries,” he further mentioned. He went on to discuss the basic requirements for getting a patent—novelty, non-obviousness, adequate disclosure and industrial utility—and its basic components.

Ms Sharma began by defining ‘invention’ and the steps we need to take care of even before the patent search process. “The first thing to do whenever you do any research that falls under patentable subject matter is that you need to file a provisional application without disclosing it to your friends and family…we also need to take care of the subject matter that is allowed according to patent law. For instance, it cannot be frivolous, contrary to public order, a mere discovery of a scientific principle or a new property or traditional knowledge. “If your invention is directly related to atomic energy, it will not get through.”

Sharma further discussed the method of preparation of patent specification and the structure of a claim and its types. She also engaged the audience by showing them examples of bizarre patents like anti-eating masks and sound mufflers for covering the mouth.

Dr Bijay K Sahu, on the other hand, spoke on IP facilitation, management and commercialisation.  “In the competitive world of today, intellectual property plays a very important role. Knowledge must be acknowledged; creativity and innovation is the need of the hour. We must respect and leverage IP.”

“There are many ways to commercialise intellectual property–IP monetisation, IP information are some of them.  We need to change our mindset and promote the culture of innovation. India is well-known for innovation but today when we talk about academic innovation, we lack behind…Every problem has been solved through academics…infringement, imitation and plagiarism are some of the challenges we are facing today.”He elaborated on how academic technology transfer has benefited society. 

The event ended with an interactive Q&A session.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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