T. Nandakumar

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) is preparing to establish a Patent Information Centre for small industries, under plans to help them improve the marketability of their products and boost brand value.

The dedicated IPR centre for micro, small and medium enterprises will guide industrial units in protection of their intellectual properties and facilitate filing of applications for patents and copyrights and registration of designs, trademarks and geographical indications. The project, funded by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), will identify MSME clusters and assess their Intellectual Property (IP) needs.

Executive Vice President, KSCSTE, E.P. Yesodharan said the project was designed to help the largely unorganised small industries sector overcome their marketing problems. He said it would be discussed with officials of the Industries department and District Industrial Centres next month. The MSME clusters will be identified at the meeting and a steering committee constituted for the supervision of the IP facilitation centre.

Mr. Yesodharan said an amount of Rs.42 lakh had been earmarked for the project. The centre will conduct training programmes on the significance of protecting IP and help the clusters obtain rights on their products. It will also provide legal, technical, legal and financial assistance to small industries.

In the initial phase of the project, KSCSTE will identify five different industrial clusters from various sectors and organise sensitisation programmes for the groups to create better awareness about IPR. The centre will collaborate with the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) under the Department of Science and Technology to process applications filed by the clusters for patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications.

Ajith Prabhu, Principal Scientific Officer, KSCSTE said the proposed IPR centre would offer support to the industrial sector in the crucial area of IPR and improve the marketability of their products.

“Many of the products manufactured in Kerala, like chips and toys to the Beypore dhow and the Aranmula mirror, lack brand value. Helping the manufacturers obtain rights to their products will enable the small industries sector to overcome this problem.”

The council already has a Patent Information Centre which provides technical, legal and financial support for students, research scholars, scientists, technocrats, professionals, industrialists and grassroots innovators in searching patent databases and filing patents.