Speakers on Monday said that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) could be used as a strategic weapon in the competitive world to prevent its abuse and urged the Indian companies to go for it.

The seminar on ‘Protecting the patents, designs and brands in European Union,' was jointly organised by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), UK Trade and Investment, Altacit Global and Forresters.

Delivering the welcome address, MCCI president, T.T. Srinivasaraghavan said that IPR had become critically important in the wake of a rapidly changing trade environment characterised by global competition, high innovation risks, short production cycles, huge investments in R&D and rapid changes in technology.

“We have moved from copyright and trademark era. IPR is complex and critically important,” he said.

British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Mike Nithavrianakis, said that the UK led the world in the provision of legal services and London was home to a large number of international law firms. Last year, British firms generated over one-fifth of the total revenue of the global top 10. He also called upon Indian legal firms to join hands with their UK counterparts for fruitful partnerships between the two legal communities.

Sudhir Ravindran, Patent Attorney and Chief Executive Officer, Altacit Global, gave an overview of IP through case studies involving KFC, Philips and Gillette.