Thiruvananthapuram: The National IPR Policy published in May 2016 lays stress on creating public awareness on the benefits of IPR. Inaugurating a two-day conference on the policy, chief secretary S. M. Vijayanand called for IPR literacy in the state. He said, “I find awareness, let alone knowledge, about IPR is quite weak, not only among the lay public, but important policy makers, I too being among the ignorant lot.”
The policy proposes that IPR should be taught in educational institutions. Mr Vijayanand said that many a time interesting ideas come up in school-level science educations, but they disappear. There should be assistance to help develop the rough ideas and take it to the next level. He also said that high-end capacity building was needed, not just to read and share what is written in the document, but to decode the implications, subtle and otherwise.
He said that a proactive state action plan was needed. He promised that as the chief secretary, he would ensure coordination of different departments in the successful implementation of the policy. The programme was organised by the Patent Information Centre, and Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), in association with Technology Information and Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).
The keynote address was by N. R. Madhava Menon, founder vice-chancellor, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. He said that IP need not always accelerate innovation. He cited the example of CSIR. “Lots of patents, lots of money and time are spent but are seldom used. The story is the same with traditional knowledge which the policy highlights. Has legal protection spurred the regeneration of traditional knowledge?” he asked.
With its emphasis on IPR awareness building rather than on the framework for the innovation ecosystem, the new policy throws doubt on the existing regime, he said. The chief secretary released the second, third and fourth volumes of Journal of Traditional and Folk Practices. It was handed over to TIFAC executive director Prabhat Ranjan. The book is biennial publication brought out by Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment and JNTBGRI....