'Online portal to facilitate trade in IPRs by April'

Many SMEs not aware of intellectual property system, says top official

An online portal to facilitate trade in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) exclusively for the  Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector will be set up by Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) - Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC) in collaboration with British High Commission and will be launched in April, said FISME - IPFC Deputy Director (IPR) Karamjeet Singh Saluja.

Speaking at an Intellectual Property Rights awareness programme focusing Innovators, MSMEs, Electronics and IT organised at Hotel Gateway on Wednesday, he said there is low awareness about IPR especially in the MSMEs. Mostly, MSMEs are the driving force behind innovations. However, their innovative and creative capacity is not fully exploited as many SMEs are not aware of intellectual property system or the protection it can provide for their innovations, brands and designs, he said.

The FISME has set-up three Intellectual Property Facilitation Centres (IPFCs) at New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad respectively. The IPFCs aim at raising awareness levels among MSMEs to help them integrate IP in their businesses, facilitating legal protection of IP, filing applications for IPRs, facilitation support so that effective utilisation of IPR tools that leads to technology upgradation and enhanced competitiveness.

Inaugurating the programme, MSME Development Institute (Mangalore) Deputy Director K Socrates said that majority of countries have adopted strategies for implementing strong IPR protection for strengthening their industries and trades, the Indian industries particularly the MSMEs are lagging behind in recongnising the importance of IPR and adopting IPR as a business strategy for enhancing competitiveness.

Protection of IPR is important for small entrepreneurs. Effective utilisation of IPR  tools by MSMEs would assist them in technology upgradation and enhancing competitiveness, he said.

FIEO Southern Region Chairman Walter D'Souza pointed out that IPR being low cost in India is one of our intrinsic strength and can stop brain drain in younger generation. India can take advantage of the demographic dividend in India and use the younger generation to staff the various sectors of economy, he said.

He also added that Indian exports are low when compared to other developing countries such as Thailand and Philippines. The reason for low exports could be there is no value addition of goods, he said.

Udupi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Prasad Raj Kanchan said that getting a patent is a lengthy process. There in one patent filing office in Chennai. If there was an office in Bangalore or at NITK, it can encourage one to file for IPR, he said.
Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Mohammed Ameen, District Small Industries Association President K Jayraj Pai and others were present.

The awareness programme was oragnised by Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India and Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME).

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