MSMEs will get concessional rates for trading on the portal

An online portal where micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) can trade licences for patented products will be launched in April, said Karamjeet Singh Saluja, Deputy Director, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME), Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC).

He was speaking at an IPR awareness programme focusing on innovators, MSME and other industries, organised by FISME, which promotes entrepreneurship and projects to improve the market access for MSME. The IPFC is sponsored by Development Commissioner, MSME, Ministry of MSME.

MSME would get concessional rates for trading on the portal, a mechanism for IP exchange that had been created by FISME in collaboration with the British High Commission, he said.

Mr. Saluja said that the awareness of IP among MSME was limited. “That is a fact and must be acknowledged in order to improve,” he said. Not being aware of IP would affect MSME because “they may have the best products on offer but they will fail unless there is proper marketing (and protection of IP),” he said.

He said there were different IPR instruments, and entrepreneurs should know which instrument should be used when. He spoke about patents, copyrights, trademarks, geographical indication (GI) tags, and trade secrets and how they were used.

Prasad Raj Kanchan, president, Udupi Chamber of Commerce, said that the geographical indication registry office must have a presence outside Chennai. They should set up an office in Bangalore or at National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (NIT-K), Surathkal. He said that the industry faced a challenge when it came to the inability of the government to judge the intellectual property claims made by industry persons. Also, the process of getting a patent must be shortened.

Another issue that needed attention was what an industry person should do if he wanted IP registered outside India, he said.

Walter D’Souza, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said that the number of research and development centres in India was growing. But exports from India were low, even when compared to other developing countries such as Thailand and Philippines, due to a known reason: the lack of export of value-added products. It was important for India to reap the demographic dividend and to empower itself by allowing the younger generation to generate wealth, he said.