Raising awareness

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On August 2, 2019, IIT Kharagpur won recognition as ‘IP Campus of the Year (Non Legal) 2019” at the Intellectual Property Fest, an event organized by IP Promotion Outreach Foundation. The award acknowledged a campus that had made outstanding contribution to spreading awareness in the field of Intellectual Property law, rights and practice in the last academic year.

IPPOF is a knowledge-sharing and training arm in Intellectual Property with two decades of expertise in this domain and has been working on networking and implementation, and increasing awareness through seminars and online guidance sessions. It believes that the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise sector needs to focus on commercialization of technology, promotion of innovative products through IPR protection, implementation, awareness and training.

IIT Kharagpur thinks similarly, although its focus does not devolve on any one sector. The Institute endeavours to promote and facilitate IP activities within the Institute and around the campus. It has taken several initiatives to build up community IP, raising awareness among IP creators and enforcement personnel. The Institute also connects inventors with industries and facilitates the transfer of technologies invented or created in the Institute. The Technology Transfer Group, a student run body, of IIT Kharagpur facilitates IP awareness activities.

Over the past year, there have been several workshops and interactive sessions held at IIT Kharapgur in order to give researchers and inventors a broad overview of patent laws in different countries, guide them on how to file patents and protect their IP. For example, an IPR workshop for students and researchers of the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, G.S. Sanyal School of Telecommunication, School of Medical Science and Technology and Centre for Educational Technology was conducted February 3, 2018, with distinguished patent advocate, Mr. Naren Thapetta, as the special guest speaker. In another session last August on “Roadmap for Patent Creation”, attended by more than a hundred researchers of the Institute, they were taught the fundamentals of patent creation and patent filing procedure in two sessions. There was a similar workshop on IP Management of Academic and Research Institute taken by faculty of Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law in March this year.

Workshop on IP Powerhouse: the fuel for startups (2nd March 2019) Dr.Malathi Lakshmi Kumaran, Executive Director, Lakshmisri Law Firm, New Delhi

Faculty of RGSOIPL have conducted short-term courses and workshops to disseminate information and train academicians and even personnel on IP rights and issues. For example, the short-term course on “Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Law” in February 2019 that taught participants from various institutes of national importance the importance of IP protection. Participants were encouraged to establish IPR Cell in their institute and file IPs in biotechnology. An IPR workshop for for Swami Vivekananda State Police Academy (SVSPA), Kolkata in January 2019 saw the participation of several police personnel, including Deputy Superintendent of Police, Police Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors. There was also a two day training workshop on IPR conducted for the National Defense Academy for Production, Nagpur to train junior and senior level officers in IP.

IIT Kharagpur has developed an online portal to facilitate the protection of Geographical Indication to build up community IP and emphasize IP creation that empowers the marginalized people. The Institute is pursuing several GI cases. Take the ongoing work on GoynaBori, a potential GI.

Part B registration for ‘Joynagar Moa’, a GI of West Bengal has also been initiated based on the visits to geographical location. Initial work on the registration of Kalkatti Jewellery, a potential GI has been started. Similarly, documentation work has been undertaken with respect to Axomiya Jewellery of Assam.

As many as 62 patents have been filed at the patent office of the Institute in 2018-19 in the key categories of agriculture, biotechnology, chemical, electronics, electrical and mechanical engineering and by the School of Medical Science and Technology. Every year, IIT Kharagpur celebrates the World IP Day on April 26 to raise IP awareness among student and researchers and felicitating the inventors whose patent has been granted.

Prof. C. Retna Raj, Professor-in-Charge of IPR & IR at the Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy wing of IIT Kharagpur said, “The IPPO award is a recognition for developing in-house IP ecosystem through awareness and promotional activities, the pioneering steps taken by IIT Kharagpur to build up community IP and sensitizing the surrounding social stratum and creating awareness among IP creators & enforcement personnel.”

Graphics : Suman Sutradhar

By Chirosree Basu

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