Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Sep 13, 2002
Industry & Economy
`Lack of IPR awareness hampering industry'
HYDERABAD, Sept. 12
THE State Government has been striving to promote Hyderabad as a global knowledge hub and the foundation for this has been through the setting of hi-tech institutes such as IIIT, Indian School of Business, Knowledge Park, Biotech Park and others, Mr K. Vidyadhara Rao, Minister for Major Industries, has said.
In his inaugural address to the two-day international conference on `Innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR) strategy', jointly organised by the CII and the Andhra Pradesh Technology Development and Promotion Centre (APTDC) here on Thursday, he said that in the light of the WTO regime there was a pressing need for protection of IPR in the country in general, and in Andhra Pradesh in particular.
The Minister said lack of awareness of IPR and the right legislation to protect them was hampering the progress of the domestic industry. The State Government had set up an IPR facilitation centre as an extension of the ICICI knowledge park to help SMEs. Mr Francis Gurry, Assistant Director General of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Geneva, in his keynote address said the challenge of centrality of IPR was more pronounced with overwhelming demand from developing countries for international patenting which had become critical to wealth generation.
The consequences of centrality were in the shape of frequent tensions between intellectual property and areas of public policy. There were new claims of enfranchisement and attempts at subversion, he said.
Prof Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty of the College of Medicine, Chicago, said that in India the spirit of innovation and an IPR system had not taken deep roots despite the fact that the country was ranked among the top 10 industrialised nations in the world.
India did not recognise product patents and consequently there had been no incentive to develop new products either in biotech or other areas.
He said this culture of ignoring product patent would change as India had signed the TRIPS agreement which helped to set up minimum standards. For framing patent laws, India could follow the US model that encouraged innovation for industrial and economic development. Biotechnological innovations held the key for attaining goals, he said.
Mr Shahid Ali Khan, former Deputy Director General of WIPO, said that IPRs were necessary for enhancing the quality and competitiveness of products.
The Government and the private sector should ensure that the IPR system facilitated techno-economic development in an environmentally friendly atmosphere.
While it was necessary to patent innovations, it was equally important to commercialise them. He suggested the formation of Indian inventors' association under the auspices of CII.
Mr G.V. Prasad, CEO of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, wanted focus on intangible assets to reach goals of knowledge.
This would be possible through IPRs which would also lead to wealth generation.
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