Patent Act to recognise local innovations

Describing these innovations as “utility models,” the Centre, will provide limited protection to innovations which may not strictly meet standards of Patent Act, but, are commercially exploitable and socially relevant.

The objective is to protect “utility models” such as say a clay refrigerator or electric/telephone pole climber, gas stove switch or aluminium pan (tawa), which may be exploited by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for commercialisation.

These minor technical inventions, which frugally use local resources in sustainable manner, sources said, need encouragement by providing legal framework for their simple innovations which create utility devices.

Since these will have commercial value only for limited time period before being replaced by other products or rendered redundant by change of technology, need for patent protection is felt.

Such an impetus, they opined, will encourage innovators and augment the role of small scale innovators and artisans in economic development helping them stay in business, besides energising innovation.

By providing protection, it is believed it will not only enable creation of a data bank on innovative activity but also generate pool of incremental innovations which trigger newer innovations hastening the market entry of such products.

Citing examples of countries such as Australia with Innovation Patents, Belgium, Ireland, Netherland with Term Patents, France with Utility Certificates, Indonesia with Simple Patents, Vietnam and Malaysia with Utility Innovations, it’s pointed out, India too is treading their path, to encourage domestic innovations.

This, they observed, will help MSME sector, which are nursery of entrepreneurship driven by individual creativity and innovation, further their growth and development, translating ideas and innovations into commercial operations.

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