This year again we had a distinguished guest at Turnip’s World IP Day Event. Dr. Anindya Sircar is currently DPIIT IPR Chair Professor at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Formerly, he was Global IPR Head of Biocon and Head of IP Cell at Infosys. He has figured in Lex Witness’s Hall of Fame – Top 50 as a prominent player in India’s legal sector in 2010. He was featured in IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists in 2019 and 2020.
World Intellectual Property Day 2022’s theme focused on IP and Youth innovating for a Better Future.
The session was a great success with 1983 participants. Here are some excerpts:
Q1. What things have changed and what are the differences between the Pharma industry and the IT industry when it comes to IPR and also how IPR is progressing in the future?
The macro objective is similar for most industries. It is the domain that decides the type of activities to be done. Pharma and IT industries are very much different from each other, so the treatment, generation and management of IP are also different. Pharma Companies are R&D oriented, require a lot of investment, and the risks are higher. On the other hand, the service industry treats IP in a very different way. It belongs to the clients. The major difference is technology life. Pharma takes a longer time to develop, commercialize and if successful, longer market period whereas in ICT, the technologies are short-lived. The ICT industry relies a lot on copyright and trade secrets whereas in pharma the aim is to get a patent for different purposes.
Q2. How can developers get a patent for their computer-related invention?
Indian Patent Act Section 3k says that software projects are not patentable. But there are tons of patents in this domain filed, they tie it up with hardware.
Q3. Any commercialization stories in the IT industry where there has been a great success in terms of patents or IP Protection?
In the IT industry, patents are business tools. They are used for commercial advantage. Commercial advantages get bucketed into three kinds of classes:
- Strategic: It doesn’t help you in business today but will help you tomorrow
- Defensive: You need them to continue business
- Deployed: You can use it in a useful way
Q4. Do I need a working prototype to be able to file a patent or is the idea sufficient?
No, you have to convert the idea into an invention. Patents are granted on a few criteria like novelty and inventive steps. As long as your invention is enabled in your disclosures, you can file a patent.
Q5. If a person is having a good idea regarding a testing kit, what is the correct way to collaborate & get funding support? And should we go for patent filing first OR startup registration?
If you want to become an entrepreneur, go for startup registration and then file your patent. If you want to collaborate with somebody, then you get funding and support. For an individual getting funding is difficult in India.
Q6. Change in IPR over years?
There is a lot of change in terms of awareness, sensitivity and importance have increased at different levels. 5 years ago, the amount of IPR-related events was less. If you look at today’s scenario, a lot of IPR-related things are happening.
Q7. What are career opportunities in IPR?
It’s a joint venture. It’s science and technology which makes innovation that makes inventions. It is the legal system that protects them.
Proper knowledge of all these will help you make a really good career in IP.
Q8. Job opportunities for commerce and management students?
There are career opportunities in IP brokerage, IP mortgage, IP Audit, IP informatics, and IP due diligence. For more opportunities, please do your research.
Q9. What are commercialization opportunities for students?
First of all, look for applied research and not basic research because the industry looks for it. Make something that has commercial value.
Q10. How can an institute get expert advice related to patents at low cost?
Law firms claim quality and professionalism and that’s how the rate increases. But if you don’t want to spend much, you can go to the Indian patent office, there is a list of patent advisors who are qualified. They are supposed to assist you at the fix which is comparatively lower than the market rate. Also, NRDC gives you financial assistance at the time of filing and granting both Indian and overseas patents.
Q11. Which is of high value: patenting or publishing?
If you aim to patent, then don’t publish. Publishing should follow patenting.
Q12. What are new places people can explore in IPR?
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) covers most forms of intellectual property including copyright, patents, geographical indications, trademarks, industrial designs, trade secrets, and exclusionary rights over new plant varieties.
Q13. Patenting takes 5-7 years. After this period work will be obsolete and not suitable for publication. How to cope with it?
If you are a startup or university, you get the benefit of fast-tracking. Patents are being granted in 1.5 years. You file your patent, get your filing receipt and then start with the process of publication.
Q14. What are Dr. Anindya Sircar’s current IPR projects and in the future what would be the areas he’ll work on?
He said that he lives and breathes IP so either he’s teaching IP, consulting a bunch of clients and organizing training programs. He has a wonderful team of researchers who carry out research on different contemporary topics. The entire IP is a game of the true world, it’s a game between value and risk, so the aim is to maximize your value and minimize your risk. Be it a big corporate or an individual inventor, the game remains the same.
You can watch the full session on Turnip’s YouTube Channel:
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