The Delhi University plans to set up a new intellectual property rights (IPR) policy under which it will create an Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at the Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC).
"The IPR cell was lying dormant after 2008 as there was no dedicated IPRtrained person who could handle the university's IP. At that time, even the patent funds were inadequate," informs Rekha Chaturvedi, MHRD IPR chair professor (technical). The university is taking this step to ensure that awareness is created among academics and students about IPR protection and to enable them to assess the business potential of their work."This will also make them aware of the pitfalls of technological manipulation through the internet,"she adds.
On the need to create IPFC for MSMEs, Chaturvedi says that these organisations generally do not have in-house IPR cells. "Without being aware, they might be using the designs of already existing products or using protected software unknowingly. This is a positive step to avoid infringement and to bring greater awareness about copyright-related is sues among the MSMEs," she adds.
According to her, establishing an IPFC for MSMEs at university level is useful because this can encourage interaction between industry and academia which might lead to collaborative R&D and technology transfer at a later stage.
The centre would train MSMEs as well as give advice on means for IPR protection apart from helping them create IPR-driven business strategies and perform patentability assessment to find out the commercial potential of the project and its usefulness for creating business for the enterprises.
The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) had mandated that all Central universities set up an IPR chair.
Three basic issues of importance for researchers include IPR awareness, use of technology and business potential of research. "The academics and students are not adequately aware of intellectual property rights. With the change in technology, it has become important for students as well as faculty to know whether the material they use is legally available," explains MM Chaturvedi, director, CIC.
In order to further expand the scope of this project, DU is considering launching certificate and diploma courses in the field.