Women MBA graduates have a critical role to play in the dissemination and propagation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in a knowledge era, jurist N.R. Madhava Menon has said.

He was inaugurating a national seminar on ‘IPR in the Knowledge Era' organised by the Institute of Management in Kerala and the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment at the Science and Technology Museum, here on Wednesday.

He said enhanced knowledge could hike productivity and this would enable everyone to create wealth through innovations in their occupation. Though IPR took birth in the industrial age, it had undergone transformations in today's era of information technology. Management education and its application had given rise to consumerism and IPR was now tuned to this phenomenon. Countries with many minds such as India and China would be able to spearhead innovations and that was why the world's attention was on such countries today, he said.

Mr. Menon said India accounted for a third of all the patents applied for and awarded among the BRIC country innovators in USA. However, many patents were owned by multinational companies (MNCs) from India and not necessarily by Indian entrepreneurs. It was indicative of the fact that outsourcing R&D to India was also a reality now. Most of the companies seeking patents in USA were pharma companies and IT companies from India, he said.

Mr. Menon said there was a pressing need to protect India's biological diversity and indigenous knowledge.