Shaping the Future: Promoting Innovation, Creativity & IP Generation Among Women Entrepreneurs
Intellectual property right and innovation go hand in hand. While innovation is the key to progress, it is IP rights that facilitate innovation and make sure that the innovators' efforts are well-rewarded. Innovative industries by themselves and through connected industries also have the potential to generate vast streams of revenue and employment. As the Indian economy readies for the next level of development and prosperity, it will be the innovation-based industries which will lead the way.
FICCI, in collaboration with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, commemorated the World Intellectual Property Day 2018 with a conference on 'Promoting Innovation, Creativity and IP Generation Among Women Entrepreneurs', on 27 April 2018 at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi. The focus of the event was in keeping with WIPO's (World Intellectual Property Organization) theme for this year's World IP Day – Powering
If we don't protect IP, nobody is going to innovate and without innovation, we'll all stagnate.
Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce and Industry
Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity – and was intended to be a tribute to the brilliance, ingenuity and courage of the women who are making a difference in our lives while shaping our world's future. The event also provided the opportunity for a comprehensive discussion on India's industrial landscape in the light of various developments in the country's IP regime, and how innovation was now driving global economic growth.
Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, addressing the inaugural session, underlined the need to take tangible steps to increase women's contribution in innovation and creative industries, and invited ideas from stakeholders on the initiatives that were required in this regard. On recent developments in India's IP regime, he informed, that since the National IPR Policy in 2016 announcement, significant progress had been made in the disposal of IP applications, with patent examination increasing from 17,000 in 2015-16 to 60,000 in 1016-17, while patent application disposals grew from 22,000 to 47,000 during the period. Similarly, trademark examination time has reduced dramatically from 13 months to less than a month. Further, the transfer of Copyright Board to DIPP has resulted in copyright registrations increasing substantially from 4,500 to almost 20,000. Abhishek said that if India was to figure among the world's top
countries, it would be aided only by an innovation-driven economy. He appreciated FICCI's contribution in building a strong IP regime in the country, including for the many programmes carried out with DIPP in the policy implementation initiatives, and concluded emphasizing that Indian government was committed to putting in place a robust IPR regime, making India increasingly innovative, and reaching the objective of making India a US$10 trillion economy by 2030.
Justice Pratibha M. Singh, Judge, Delhi High Court, in her address, underlined the significant vitality of India's IP regime evident from the large-scale fundamental changes it had witnessed, including enactment of the Commercial Courts Act and establishment of CIPAM (Cell for IPR Promotion and Management). Appreciating the various government initiatives like the announcement of guidelines for biotech, computerrelated invention and clinical trials, and the significant reduction of timelines in trademark and patent registration processes, she said that India's IP sector was expected to see tremendous growth. Further, measures such Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms in IP opposition proceedings would increase the Indian IP system's effectiveness. On women innovators and entrepreneurs, she felt that while womenfolk by and larger were more creative in all walks of life, women science graduates and postgraduates, in particular, should be encouraged to exploit their creative aptitudes as well as to become as certified patent agents.
Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, through a video message, stated that IP protection was the key to encouraging innovation and the government was addressing all IP-related issues be it legislative, administrative, enforcement or prosecution. Urging Indian industry to increasingly encourage innovation in their work culture, he observed, 'If we don't protect IP, nobody is going to innovate and without innovation, we'll all stagnate.'
Narendra Sabharwal, Chair, FICCI-IPR Committee and Former Deputy Director General, WIPO, observed that there was a pronounced gender gap in IP, which must be addressed because society would be better off when women were empowered to make their contribution to innovation and creativity. He also said that globally the focus on intellectual property had shifted from its protection and enforcement, to its development. FICCI was committed to promoting, utilizing and enforcing IP rights, sensitizing and build capacities of IP stakeholders and looked forward to working with the government on its policy development and implementation initiatives, Sabharwal concluded.
The subsequent panel discussions saw participation of senior policy makers and government officials, leading innovation and IP experts from India and abroad – among them, many leading women achievers – deliberating on different aspects of intellectual property including its generation, protection, enforcement and commercialization. The interactions were focused on how the power of IP right could bring about inclusive growth and women empowerment, the ecosystem required for increased innovation and creativity among women, and the ways and means for promoting women leadership through IP rights.
Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, with Rashesh Shah, President, FICCI.