Intellectual Property is the Possession of a Curious Mind – Celebrating the World Intellectual Property Day 2024 at IIT Kharagpur

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On the occasion of the World Intellectual Property Day, the Intellectual Property (IP) Cell of the Office of Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy (SRIC), IIT Kharagpur organized a programme on Intellectual Property in Ben Gupta Auditorium of the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (RGSOIPL) on 26th April, 2024. The programme accentuates the importance of IP in modern science and transformational technological pursuits and was inaugurated by Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur, in attendance by a large number of students, research scholars faculty and staff members.

The theme of The World IP Day 2024 was to align the inventions towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IIT Kharagpur has already taken a leap towards aligning with SDGs and has published the Sustainability Policy of the Institute in the Website. The Institute has also taken initiatives towards directing the innovations towards attainment of the SDGs for shaping our future together with the Intellectual Property.

In the opening address, Prof. Santanu Dhara, Associate Dean R&D and Professor In-Charge of Intellectual Property Rights (PIC-IPR), talked about the genesis and history of the IPR and introduced its basic aspects. He also touched upon the various IPR and patent filing activities of IIT Kharagpur and urged the faculty, students and scholars to secure their IPR by filing patents.

Prof. Rintu Banerjee, Dean R&D, IIT Kharagpur

Prof. Rintu Banerjee, Dean R&D, presented the record of annual patent filing at IIT Kharagpur which showed a positive trend over the last few years. Prof. Banerjee also compared the details of patents filed and granted from IIT Kharagpur with those from the other top academic institutions in India and the world. Overall, Prof. Banerjee emphasized on the importance of filing patents for institutional and national development and called the IIT Kharagpur community to come forward and make the endeavour of ‘100 patents in 100 hours’ successful. Prof. Banerjee also shared some of the administrative and academic measures the institute is going to implement for promoting the IP drive.

Prof. V K Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur

In the Chairman’s speech, Prof. V K Tewari delivered a fascinating and encouraging lecture covering the journey of patent filing at IIT Kharagpur. It is wonderful to hear that back in 1982 Prof. Tewari visited the patent office in Kolkata every day for around two weeks to learn the rules and regulations of patent filing following the advice of his M.Tech supervisor, which resulted in the filing of the first patent from this institute. Prof. Tewari continued his drive and owned as many as twenty patents throughout his academic journey. Prof. Tewari particularly focused on the importance of securing IP and translating that to successful start-ups to foster the country’s economy and generate employment.

There were two successive lectures first by Prof. Padmavati Machikanti from RGSOIPL on the overview of different forms of IP and subsequently by Prof. Tapas Kumar Bandyopadhyay, Professor of the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, on the patenting aspects in Indian context. Prof. Banerjee also touched upon how technological research can benefit the rural economy through IPR.

Mr. Sumit Chatterjee, Legal Associate, SRIC, briefly mentioned the IP-related activities of SRIC

In the end, Prof. Banerjee and Prof. Dhara thanked the tremendous support extended by the IIT Kharagpur faculty members in performing a timely review of the proposals submitted for patent filing. The programme ended with a long Q&A session where Prof. Goutam Saha, former PIC of IPR, and Prof. Soumitra Paul, Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, shared some of their opinion and suggestions to make the patent drive at IIT Kharagpur a more effective one.  [Read : IIT Kharagpur calls for 100 Patents in 100 days]

Finally, in the vote of thanks Prof. Niharika Sahoo Bhattacharya acknowledged the Director, Dean R&D, Associate Dean R&D, the speakers and attendees for making the event successful. Special thanks was imparted to the Deans and all the faculty and staff members of the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law for extending all support in organizing the event at their venue.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and protect Intellectual Property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations. It began operations on 26 April 1970 when the convention entered into force. The current Director General is Singaporean Daren Tang, former head of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, who began his term on 1st October 2020.

WIPO’s activities include hosting forums to discuss and shape international IP rules and policies, providing global services that register and protect IP in different countries, resolving transboundary IP disputes, helping connect IP systems through uniform standards and infrastructure, and serving as a general reference database on all IP matters; this includes providing reports and statistics on the state of IP protection or innovation both globally and in specific countries. WIPO also works with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals to utilize IP for socio-economic development.

WIPO administers 26 international treaties that concern a wide variety of intellectual property issues, ranging from the protection of audiovisual works to establishing international patent classification. It is governed by the General Assembly and the Coordination Committee, which together set policy and serve as the main decision making bodies. The General Assembly also elects WIPO’s chief administrator, the Director General, currently Daren Tang of Singapore, who took office on 1st October 2020. WIPO is administered by a Secretariat that helps carry out its day-to-day activities.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO has external offices around the world, including in Algiers (Algeria); Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Beijing (China), Tokyo (Japan); Abuja (Nigeria); Moscow (Russia); and Singapore (Singapore). Unlike most UN organizations, WIPO does not rely heavily on assessed or voluntary contributions from member states; 95 percent of its budget comes from fees related to its global services.

WIPO currently has 193 member states, including 190 UN member states and the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue; Palestine has permanent observer status. The only non-members, among the countries recognized by the UN are the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and South Sudan.

WIPO was formally created by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, which entered into force on 26 April 1970. That date is commemorated annually as World Intellectual Property Day, which raises awareness of the importance of IP. Under Article 3 of this convention, WIPO seeks to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. WIPO became a specialized agency of the UN in 1974. The Agreement between the United Nations and the World Intellectual Property Organization notes in Article 1 that WIPO is responsible:

“For promoting creative intellectual activity and for facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development, subject to the competence and responsibilities of the United Nations and its organs, particularly the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, as well as of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and of other agencies within the United Nations system.”

WIPO Development Agenda

In October 2004, WIPO agreed to adopt a proposal offered by Argentina and Brazil, the Proposal for the Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO —from the Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization. This proposal was well supported by developing countries. The agreed “WIPO Development Agenda” was the culmination of a long process of transformation for the organization from one that had historically been primarily aimed at protecting the interests of rightholders, to one that has increasingly incorporated the interests of other stakeholders in the international intellectual property system as well as integrating into the broader corpus of international law on human rights, environment and economic cooperation. In 2009, WIPO started drafting future treaties on intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore in relation with indigenous peoples and local communities.

In December 2011, WIPO published its first World Intellectual Property Report on the Changing Face of Innovation, the first such report of the new Office of the Chief Economist. WIPO is also a co-publisher of the Global Innovation Index.

Recent Events

WIPO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WTO launched on 11 April 2022 their new Trilateral COVID-19 Technical Assistance Platform. This new tool aims to help members and WTO accession candidates address their capacity building needs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Platform provides members and accession candidates with a single contact form which they can use to reach out to the trilateral organizations.

World Intellectual Property Day 

World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization  (WIPO) in 2000 to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life and to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of economies and societies across the globe.World Intellectual Property Day is WIPO’s largest Intellectual Property (IP) public outreach campaign, instituted with the aim of establishing a set up framework for broader mobilization and awareness, to open up access to the promotional aspect of innovation and to recognize the achievements of promoters of intellectual property throughout the world.

Inputs by:Prof. Debalay Chakrabarti, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Kharagpur

Edited By: Poulami Mondal, Digital & Creative Media Executive (Creative Writer)
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By Poulami Mondal

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