Significance of Intellectual Property (IP) And Related Opportunities For Professionals

The field of IP covers patents, trade marks, trade secrets, designs and other creative forms of human endeavour, which increasingly constitutes a very significant component of success for companies and nations. In today’s globalize world, Intellectual property (IP) plays a significant role, at a micro level it is ownership of rights by individuals and socially beneficial product development and at a macro level it is growth of industries and economy of a country. IP has become a topic of debate as it touches every aspect of everyday life. There are groups who strongly oppose IP protection as they feel it will establish monopolies to their detriment, whereas some stake-holders feel it is the path to innovation and industrialization. Even though Intellectual Property may have short-term uncertainties of price escalation and accessibility issues, in the long run the benefits far outweigh the weaknesses, if any. IP creates incentives for people to create and innovate, for companies to develop new product lines, which in turn is the key to industrialization that is a contributor to enhancing the Country’s economy.

As India moves from a developing nation to becoming a pioneer in outsourcing services and a knowledge economy, IP has taken a new place for India’s inventors and growing Industries. To sustain its growth and to keep pace with the global competition, there is definite requirement to innovate, protect and build commercial and business strategy tools…

So far India suffered from an awareness of IP and often lacked resources to leverage its IP commercially. In recent years India has moved up the value chain by its people and industries having gathered a better understanding IP, which is evident from its burgeoning Biotech, Pharma & IT Companies and Government initiatives. India’s Pharma & Biotech companies have challenged some of the largest pharma MNC’s of the world; have withstood litigation in various foreign jurisdictions. Also, the Government has shown ingenuity by issuing proclamations to pump crores of Rupees to energize its patent offices, science labs and strengthen its talent pool. Special training programs have been developed for Patent examiners and government bodies like TIFAC, CSIR etc, India has shown its commitment to its people and promised to the World to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)…,

India has one of the largest numbers of talent pool of technology, science and engineers graduates from around the world. NASSCOM report states that India churns out about 5000-6714 persons are granted Science Ph D’s every year and about 21 researchers per 1000 persons are employed in R & D staff at work in science or industry. It has some of the most renowned technology institutes such as IIT’s and REC’s. But surprisingly, not a single institution or training program exists that offers IP and the entire gamut of patent portfolio management as a full-fledged “career option” for science graduates.

Training in IP, patents and building its human capital is the need of the hour for India. According to a report by Department of Micro and Small Enterprises, India, the Micro & Small Enterprises (MSE) Sector is one of the most vibrant sectors of the Indian economy. With nearly 12.8 million units (over 90 per cent of total industrial units) in this Sector employing nearly 31 million people. This MSE sector accounts for nearly 39 per cent of the industrial production and 33 per cent of the exports. However, this sector is not coming forward to use IP as a major business strategy. The involvement of entrepreneurs and business managers is required so that the IP generated by MSEs can play a key role in gaining competitive advantage and enhancing returns on investments. The key challenge is to build skills so that there is a positive and proactive use of the IP system..

IP is a source of creating lucrative job opportunities and career opportunities for technically qualified professionals, academia and scientists. A number of academic institutes have started courses on IP, which are either short term programs or specialization at the post-graduate level. Some of these are IITs that have IP awareness programs as a part of their regular curriculum except for IIT Kharagpur, National Law Schools, Private Law Colleges like NALSAR, AIPS, IIPS, etc and private institutions like Global Institute of Intellectual Property (GIIP, Delhi)