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Ficci centre to boost innovation

- Move to protect MSMEs

Guwahati, July 30: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has set up an intellectual property facilitation centre here to encourage innovations and help protect the intellectual property rights of micro small and medium enterprises in the Northeast.

The centre has been set up with support from the Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“The objective of the centre is to facilitate MSMEs to identify, protect, maintain, enforce and commercialise their intellectual property. The key activities of this cell will be to assist innovators to address their requirements with regard to intellectual property rights,” a source in Ficci said.

Under intellectual property law, owners are granted exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets. Some intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents and industrial-design rights.

“The centre here will go a long way in helping MSMEs in the region get their intellectual property such as innovations and inventions, original designs, brand names, protected through patents, trademarks, copyrights and other such instruments conveniently,” the source said.

Micro, small and medium enterprises constitute India’s economic backbone, contributing more than 50 per cent of the country’s manufacturing output and employing nearly 90 per cent of manufacturing workforce. They also account for nearly 40 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 45 per cent of the country’s total exports.

“One way to enable the MSMEs to gain competitive advantage is the use of intellectual property right (IPR). A majority of the countries today have a strong IPR regime to empower their industries. The MSMEs in India should also make efforts to reap the benefits accruing from the IPR system and survive the competition at the international market,” the source said.

While MSMEs are responsible for a large number of innovations, they often are not able to reap the full benefit of their innovations as these are not adequately documented and protected.

“It is seen that thousands of small and medium enterprises in India are losing millions in revenue because of lack of awareness about IPR or the resources to get intellectual property protected and commercialised. The scenario is no better in the Northeast as low level of awareness among the MSMEs about IPR is having a debilitating impact on the protection of natural and man-made resources and products indigenous to the region,” he said.

The centre in addition to providing general advice about IPR will also provide services related to patent searches, patent drafting, patent prosecution, facilitation in commercialisation of inventions and trademark prosecution matters.