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Web Symposium to commemorate the ‘World Intellectual Property Day’

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Prof. R.S. Dhankar, Vice Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University

World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is a celebration of IP’s role in stimulating innovation and creativity.  That’s why, School of Legal Studies in collaboration with School of Biosciences, Apeejay Stya University organised a Web Symposium on 26th April to commemorate the ‘World Intellectual Property Day’.  Its theme: “Intellectual Property: Science and Public Policy Perspectives”.  In the inaugural address, Prof. R.S. Dhankar, Vice Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University linked Intellectual Property to human resource. “An organisation has five capital ends: men, money, machine methods and markets. If these are managed well then an organization flourishes.  Among these five capitals, human resource is the most critical one. It’s in this context that we have to see the importance of intellectual property.” Prof. R.S. Dhankar exhorted students to think freely, be open-minded and question everything. This will create a culture that will foster intellectual revolution. 

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Dr Shashank Mauriya Former Assistant Director General (Intellectual Property, Technology Management and International Relations) ICAR

In the first session, Dr Shashank Mauriya, Former Assistant Director General (Intellectual Property, Technology Management and International Relations) ICAR talked about ‘IP issues in Agricultural Research driven development.’ He said in the 1960s, the private sector in the developed world began lobbying for Intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the developing world. The reason was simple; their markets were getting saturated and they were in search of greener pastures. Talking about the current agriculture situation in India, Dr Shashank Mauriya remarked, “On one side there are people who are passionate about the environmental perspective of natural resources and on other side of the spectrum there are people with strong feelings towards much faster realisation of the agro-economic value in natural resources. One side wants to conserve the natural resources, the other side wants to monetise it. For the good of Indian agriculture the two extremes have to find a meeting ground.” He concluded the presentation by calling for amendments in the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPV&FR) and Biological Diversity Act.

Dr Shashank Mauriya Former Assistant Director General
(Intellectual Property, Technology Management and International Relations) ICAR


India’s Sui Generis System of Plant Variety Protection

Dr Jyoti Kaul
Principal Scientist (Plant Breeding), Maize Genetics Unit (MGU), Division of Genetics, ICAR

In the third session, Dr Jyoti Kaul, Principal Scientist (Plant Breeding), Maize Genetics Unit (MGU), Division of Genetics, ICAR gave a presentation on ‘IPRs in agriculture with special emphasis on PPV& FR Act, 2001.’  She said the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IPRs of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) imposes an obligation on all member-countries to protect plant varieties either by patents or by a sui generis regime or by a combination of both. A “sui generis” system simply means “one that is of its own kind”.  She explained how India developed a regime for the protection of plant varieties known as “Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001” under the sui generis option. PPV&FR Act aims to establish “an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders, to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.”

Dr Jyoti Kaul
Principal Scientist (Plant Breeding), Maize Genetics Unit (MGU), Division of Genetics, ICAR


Balance Between Incentivizing Innovation and Ensuring Vaccines

Ms Archana Jatkar
Associate Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance

In the second session, Ms Archana Jatkar, Associate Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance gave a presentation on ‘Global Developments on IPRs: TRIPS Agreement & COVID 19 Pandemic’.  She highlighted how Indian pharmaceutical industry is at the forefront of fighting COVID-19 by ensuring uninterrupted supply of life-saving drugs. India’s pharma industry is the third largest in the world by volume and constitutes 20% of total global exports of generic drugs and is valued over 40 billion dollars. India is also critical to global health care as it accounts for 60% of global vaccine production.  She cited royalty free licensing agreements by Gilead (an American biopharmaceutical company) and government support to manufacture drugs for COVID-19 present a case for patent relaxation to increase vaccine accessibility. GIlead has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers based in Egypt, India and Pakistan to expand supply of Remdesivir. The agreements allow multiple companies to manufacture Remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries.  She also called for the need to strike an appropriate balance between incentivizing innovation, and ensuring that new products (vaccines) are widely available.

Ms Archana Jatkar
Associate Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance


Relevance of Intellectual Property for Business

Dr Santanu De
Vice President, MSN Labs, Hyderabad

In the final session, Dr Santanu De, Vice President, MSN Labs, Hyderabad gave a presentation on ‘Understanding and leveraging IP for Business’.  He talked about the difference between copyright, patent, trademark, industrial design, geographical indications and trade secrets.  He clarified how a thorough understanding of IP can help an organization to protect innovative produce and services, to increase the visibility, attractiveness and value of its products in the market, to distinguish its business and its products from the competition, to access technical and business information and knowledge, to avoid the risk of unknowingly using third party proprietary content or inadvertently losing its own valuable information, innovations or creative output.  He also explained the procedure for grant of a patent.

Dr Santanu De
Vice President, MSN Labs, Hyderabad

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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