This week I attended a 2 day conference on IP and Micro, Small and medium enterprises. This was a CII event in collaboration with WIPO. With good representation from various IP Cells across the countries and the other Government agencies involved in promoting and protecting IP, and private players who can potentially play a bigger role in IP in the country, it was a well rounded event.
The no of Govt agencies that have a mandate to promote IP in the country and that too at the grassroots level for smaller setups was a revelation. But at the same time it was disappointing to see that the gross under utilization of services offered by them and the funds available with them.
I have been thinking about what can bridge this gap and the first thing that comes to my mind is Awareness. The information has to be readily available in the public domain. But a more important one is that Govt officials have to be more responsive and they need to simplify their unnecessarily long processes and an attitude to help rather than to just pass the file to the next table. They all admitted that if you visit our office, be prepared to keep visiting it for at least 6 months, the processes are slow. Since they are aware of the bottlenecks in their processes, I wish hey do something about this now.
Statistics on Patents filing trend in India is last few years is interesting, and so was the data on trademarks specially in the MSME segment. Though the no of filings is increasing, there is a big question on the commercialization of the same. I believe Indian companies are on a patent wave and are filing patents for the sake of announcing a no, rather than actually believing in the commercial value of the patents.
Incidentally, the conference had no representation from the MSMEs themselves, hope the organizers reach out to them too in the next seasons of this conference.