India and Europe need to collaborate on IPR says Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, DIPP and Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Intellectual Property Office
While speaking at the Indo-European Conference on Fostering Co-operation in Research, Innovation and IPR on 5th June 2015; Mr. Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, DIPP and Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Intellectual Property Office, started his address by talking about the MoU between the India and European Patent Office and the positive results it had yielded in the recent past. He also mentioned about the Government’s intention to open four new National Institute of Design(s) in various parts of India and the possibility of having European faculty on board to impart education. Mr. Aggarwal also briefed the audience about the ongoing discussions about the Free Trade Agreement between India and Europe and expressed his optimism about increase in trade which can be expected in the near future. On another note, Mr. Aggarwal expressed his concern at the low rate of commercialization of patented inventions in India which stood at a mere 3%. He invited industry participation and highlighted the need for an increase in the number of growth incubators and the need for funding startups to mitigate this issue. Mr. Aggarwal spoke about the important role IPR are set to play in this century. He further talked of India’s potential in innovating and was hopeful that more Indians’ would innovate and reverse the trend of generating IP assets for foreign companies. Mr. Aggarwal was of the view that the Indian Industry must also increase its share in the research process as presently about 75% of R&D was being done by Government institutions. He suggested exploration of possibilities wherein research data generated by Indian research institutes can be put in the public to invite participation from Indian industries for commercialization through various approaches which may be considered such as licensing. He further briefed the audience about the steps being taken by Government of India to address the administrative issues at India’s Intellectual Property Offices. Though, Mr. Aggarwal mentioned about many steps taken by IPO to enhance the transparency in the patent examination process in India. He emphasized about the important role of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library and was hopeful of further collaborations between India and Europe on other areas of intellectual property such as Geographical Indications.
Earlier during the day, Mr. Deep Kapuria, Chairman, CII Trade Fairs Council and Chairman Hi-Tech Group of Companies expressed his pleasure to witness the explosion of an entrepreneurship and start-up culture in tier – 2 cities of India. Such developments have put India in the right direction towards its transformation into a Knowledge driven economy, he said. He also opined that the issues related to sustainability and exclusivity will need to be addressed if India is to continue treading its path to growth. Mr. Kapuria also suggested that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) should not be isolated from Knowledge and Innovation. All three elements together will drive forward India’s growth in the near future. He also apprised the audience that CII as India’s apex industry body has been playing its part towards shaping a conducive environment for IPR protection by undertaking various initiatives to raise awareness on IPR in the country. Mr. Kapuria also informed about a new initiative launched by CII to impart IPR education to India’s youth and industry professionals, in-order to inculcate a culture of intellectual property creation and protection.
Also present during this occasion, Mr. Poul V. Jensen, Director, European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) stressed on the need to engage on ground to make Indo-European collaborations happen extensively. He apprised the audience about the close relationship that EBTC shares with CII and Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA). Mr. Jensen also said that European organizations are keen to look for areas of collaboration, which can be further facilitated by greater awareness on intellectual property (IP) that will help create a conducive environnment for business.
While delivering the special address Mr. François-Régis Hannart, Principal Director, European and International Co-operation, European Patent Office (EPO) informed about the importance that EPO attaches to collaborative programmes with Intellectual Property Office, Government of India (IPO) and how this has been further strengthened by MoU(s) signed between the two institutions. He further added that the launch of a new IP tool ‘InPASS’ by IPO is proof of the growing need for information on patents and that such initiatives have been deeply appreciated in Europe. Though, Mr. Hannart also mentioned that technical co-operation between patent offices around the world is necessary to ensure sustainable development and avoid duplicity of work.
Mr. Maurizio Cellini, Head of Trade and Economic Affairs, Delegation of the European Union to India while giving his speech mentioned about the good relations between India and European Union (EU). He also highlighted the fact that EU is one of the top-most trade and investment partner with India. Mr. Cellini was of the opinion that while innovation is important for creating jobs and ensuring sustainable development, Education also plays an equally important role as it can also lead to research excellence. Moreover, it is also important to sort out IPR issues to facilitate research collaboration. He mentioned about the deep interest within the EU about the ongoing developments on India’s National IP Policy and the role of European companies in making the ‘Make in India’ initiative a success. Mr. Cellini also spoke about the various elements being covered under the Indo-EU Free Trade Agreement wherein IPR also happens to play an important role. He further added how his office is working with its Indian counterparts to launch an EU-India dialogue on IPR.
5th June 2015