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Small Companies Are Paying a Lot for Knowing Too Little About IP

Issued: September 07 2013

Thousands of Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are losing millions of dollars for having low IP awareness.

 

Initiatives have been taken in India to provide financial assistance to MSMEs on IP. Small Industries Development Bank of India provides financial assistance at very easy terms to MSMEs for development, demonstration and commercialization of new innovations in emerging technological areas. National Innovation Foundation also provides support to village-based grass root innovators in securing and commercializing IPs, says Ramesh Dhawan, a partner at Lall Lahiri & Salhotra in New Delhi.

 

“Some industry associations even have programmes for MSMEs in patent and trademark preparation, prosecution, technology transfer as well as commercialization,” Dhawan says. “However, considering the size of the country and enormity of potential IP, which requires to be nurtured, secured and commercialized, these efforts cannot substitute the venture capital and private equity funds available in developed countries.”

 

India is way behind in IP applications worldwide. “In 2010, about 490,226 patent applications were filed in the US; 391,177 in China; 344,598 in Japan; 170,101 in Korea; 150,961 in the European Patent Office, and 59,254 in Germany, compared with a mere 39,400 in India along with 7,589 design applications,” said K S Kardam, head of Patent Office in Delhi.

 

Besides financial assistance, many organizations have been educating the MSMEs about the benefits of creating and registering IPs.

 

The Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has established IP facilitation centres in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad to provide insights on creation, ownership and protection of IP.

 

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council also has a programme to enhance the competitiveness of the MSMEs by increasing IP awareness.

 

While those educational efforts are useful, “they are too insignificant to address the country’s requirements,” says Dhawan. 

 

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