The US India IP conclave on Information technology organized at Taj Krishna, Hyderabad started on a low note with the news of death of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister Andhra Pradesh in helicopter crash on 3rd September 2009.
The two days event organized by CII (confederation of Indian Industry) in association with USPTO Global Intellectual Property academy soon started to blaze as reputed panelist, both Indian bureaucrats and members of US embassy started addressing the audience. Welcome address was given by Shakti Sagar, Vice Chairman CII_AP & MD ADP Inida Pvt LTd. Theme address was given by Dominic Keating, IPR Attaché where he applauded Indian IT industries for their contributions to Indian economy. He mentioned that IT business has grown from 150 million US $ in 1991 to 50 billion US$ in 2007 and is further expected to rise to 900 billion US $ by 2020. Hyderabad alone exports IT worth 163 billion US $ and has shown a growth of 323% from year 2002.
GS Ragahavender, Registrar of copyrights, Copyright office, Government of India in his key note address discussed about legislation, management and enforcement as three pillars to assure working of IP laws. Cornelis M Keur, Consul General, US Consulate admired Andhra Pradesh as third state after Maharashtra and Gujarat in terms of growth in Economy. Concluding remarks of the inaugural session was given by Dr. S Chakravarthy, IAS(R), Advisor-APTDC.
Soon after a short coffee break the conference resumed on special plenary: The digital dilemma: Intellectual property in the information age. Dr. A Garg, Director-IPR department of Information technology, Govt of India emphasized that SMEs (small and medium enterprises) has to play a leading role in innovation. Incubation parks, multiplier grand scheme, SIP-EIT (support international patent protection in electronics and IT) have been started by government to support innovation. Under SIP-EIT, a financial support of upto 50% of total patent processing cost including Attorney’s fees, patent office filling fees, examination fees, patent search cost and additional cost for entering national phase up to grant/issue will be given. The support will be in the form of reimbursement of expenses in actual to the applicant. Support will however be limited to Rs. 15 lakhs or 50% if the total incurred on filling each invention, whichever is less.
Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu, MHRD IP chair professior, NALSAR, Jennie Ness, Regional Inteleecual propery Attaché for South east Asia US embassy Bangkok and Madhukar Sinha, Prof-IPR, center for WTO studies, IIFT shared their knowledge on various dilemmas to be confront in the rapidly growing age of IT.
Third session on strategies for protection of incremental innovation and patentability of software: challenges for IT/software industry started after high-lunch. The session was mainly headed by corporate professionals enlightening on Indian, US and European laws on software patenting and copyrights. BLV Rao, VP- corporate affairs, Infotech enterprise Ltd initiated the session with a focus on incremental innovations. Dawn Jos, Pat Engg-Asia, Texas instrument was next speaker in the session. Himanshu Goswami, IP attorney, Microsoft India and Santanu Mukherjee, lead-IPR attorney, Qualcomm India discussed intrinsic details on IT and Indian patent article 3 (k), European article 52 (2), 52 (3) and US laws on software patenting.
Dominic Keating unfolded the legalities of patenting software and business methods in US. Anil Sharma, Knowledge scientist Dolcera took the stage and discussed one of the most talked about cases in US, “In re Bilski & its implications on software patents.” The presentation kindled interest amongst the audience from the word go. The talk showcased the research work that Dolcera had undertaken in collaboration with Medtronic in Bilski case and its impact on software, medical devices and pharma method patents.
The last session of the day was on open source software: who needs IP, was chaired by Venkatesh Hariharan, Director, corporate affairs, Redhat Asia-Pacific, Prof. KS Rajan, IIIT-Hyderabad and Pavan Duggal, leading advocate in the Supreme Court of India. The panelists presented their views on pros and cons of free software versus paid software in context of IP and public interest.
The conclave was a major success and big boost to the city of Hyderabad. The city being an IT hub and IPR industries and law firms already budding, conferences like such will enhance awareness amongst the professionals. Overall, the conclave was a great experience and CII - USPTO effort to increase IP awareness in India is definitely commendable.