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Call to protect intellectual property rights

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI, MARCH 27 . Scientists, technocrats, research scholars and the industry have to wake up to the urgent need for protecting the country's intellectual property rights by patenting their innovations, speakers at a workshop on patent awareness have said.

The workshop was organised by the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, in association with the Patent Office, Chennai, and the Shrimathi Indira Gandhi College here on Friday.

Delivering the valedictory address, S. Sathyanarayana, General Manager (Fossil Boiler), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Tiruchi, said that though the country was the third largest producer of scientists and technologists, it accounted for only 0.5 per cent of the total patents registered world over. This was not mainly because of lack of awareness of patenting.

With the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime zeroing in, many industrial units in the country might soon be forced to stop manufacturing, because somebody else had patented their products.

Stating that the industry had woken up to the IPR regime rather late, Mr. Sathyanarayana observed that the IPR was now a strategic business requirement. As the country was set to emerge as a major knowledge power, knowledge management could not be successful without a strong backing of IPR, he said, and added that patenting would control future growth.

He urged the industry, scientists and technocrats to focus on getting `improvement patents' rather than `basic patents.' He also called upon educational institutions to set up exclusive cells on the IPR to promote an awareness among students and researchers. These cells could also concentrate on training patent attorneys.

K. Jeyachandran, Member-Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, said the State Government sanctioned a three-year project for conducting patent awareness workshops with the aim of creating an awareness among the budding scientists and students. Two such workshops had already been conducted in Nagercoil and Madurai this year, and two more would be held in Coimbatore and the Annamalai University next month.

The council also identified seven major projects to be taken up this year under the Technology Innovation and Dissemination of Knowledge Programme, aimed at helping researchers transfer their findings from the laboratory to the field. The Science and Technology project, which sought to promote research and development with social relevance, and which was suspended last year, would be revived next year.

The Convenor of the Syndicate Sub-Committee of the Bharathidasan University, K. Meena, said the workshop received an overwhelming response from the local industry, trade and educational institutions with over 200 persons attending it.

Resource persons from the Patent Office, Chennai, gave an overview of the patenting process, she said and called upon the participants to be innovative.

The Chief Workshop Manager of the Southern Railway's Golden Rock Central Workshop, G.R.K. Raju, and the Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Industries Association president, S. Sridharan, spoke.

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