Dr Achuthsankar S. Nair, Hon. Director of the Centre for Bioinformatics, Kerala University, said on Monday that the State's institutions should build a culture of patenting.

“An institution like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) every year produces 400 to 500 patents. But Kerala University, the oldest university in the State, has zero patents till now,” he said after inaugurating a three-day conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) organised by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT), Angamaly.

Making a strong case for building a ‘culture of patenting', he said it was incorrect to think of patenting as a sin. “There should be a fine balance between open source and patenting,” he said, adding there could be commercial interests cashing in on intellectual properties accessed from open sources and later converting those ideas and products into their own.

“After patenting, maybe they (the institutions) can release it (the patented entity) in the open realm and make it accessible to government institutions and people below a particular income group while the rest should still ask for it,” he said giving examples. Mr. Nair also called upon individual technologists to not only use free software but also give it, asking them to contribute to the growth of free software.

P.S. Sreejith, FISAT principal, presided over the function. J.C. Prasad, Head of FISAT's Computer Science and Engineering Department, presented the conference theme.

Xavier Gregory, vice- president of FISAT governing body, offered felicitations. KSM Panicker, Dean, Planning and Research, welcomed the gathering. Jyothish K. John, Staff Coordinator of the conference, proposed a vote of thanks.

Free software based projects done by FISAT students were on display.

Keywords: Patent culture

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