EBTC-EPO collaboration for promoting innovation and technology transfer in clean and green technologies, Chennai


Under the Cooperation agreement to work in India, the European Patent Office (EPO) along with the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) jointly organised a one day seminar on the European Patent System in Chennai, India on 3rd September 2014.The seminar was jointly organised by EPO, EBTC, Andhra Pradesh Technology Development & Promotion Centre (APTDC) and Tamil Nadu Technology Development & Promotion Centre (TNTDPC) of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). EBTC and EPO also participated at IPEX 2014 in Chennai from 5th – 6th September 2014. IPEX is a two-day conference and exposition organised by APTDC and TNTDPC of CII.

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Mr. Francois Regis Hannart (Principle Director, European and International Co-operation, EPO) highlighted the importance of collaborations among various patent offices of the world. He categorically stressed the important exchanges between the EPO and the Indian Patent Office (IPO), particularly pointing out the collaboration in terms of capacity building, human resource development, and patent examination & prosecution procedures in the past. Mr. Hannart looked upon the upcoming MOU between the EPO and the IPO as a significant development in cooperation between the two patent offices. To foster innovation and to further the cause of intellectual property, the innovation community should take advantage of the worldwide database provided by EPO, that is, the espacenet and the Global patent index. He was hopeful that the integration of the Indian patent database and will significantly improve the evaluation of patents and thus add to the granting of quality of patents.

Mr. Arvind Chopra (Head- IPR, EBTC) provided an overview of the IPR Helpdesk activities in India. He stressed the commitment of the IPR Helpdesk to help European SMEs interested in entering India. He highlighted the importance of EU-India collaboration in clean and green technologies and highlighted key technology challenges faced by foreign organisation in India, specifically in the area of technology transfer. Technology transfer is complex interaction of various parameters such as standards, intellectual property, protection and enforcement, skilled force, technology life cycle, which is likely to fail if these parameters are not properly balanced. The valuation of technology is an important element in transferring technologies from Europe to India. EPO databases such as Espacenet and GPI can play an important role in performing a technology landscape. Using a case study in one of the technology areas, he demostrated how to prepare technology landscape. Furthermore, he explained how to identify and create new innovation using white space analaysis.

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The one day seminar on the European Patent System was a great success and was attended by more than 80 participants from industry, academia, legal fraternity, researchers, academicians, and MSMEs from India and abroad. The conference covered the broad range of topics including role of IP in innovation system, filing and patenting procedures at EPO, IP commercialisation and more.

Shri. R Devan (Deputy Controller of Patents & Designs, Intellectual Property Office) spoke about the various initiatives taken by the Indian IP office. He mentioned that the Indian Patent Office (IPO) has been officially recognised as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). He mentioned that Indian IP office have introduced comprehensive online filing for both patent and trademarks due to which applicants can now file all forms online. Earlier the only the first form could be filled online further the government has also introduced search hours on offline filing as compared to online filing and to encourage patent filing for SMEs. He also mentioned, IP office have also made available information of all patents which are expired till date on its website.

Mr. Gerard Owens (Administrator, Public Policy Issues, EPO), spoke about innovation in climate change mitigation technologies through patent information services. Mr. Owens talked about the new classification ‘YO2’ introduced by the EPO to categorise climate change mitigation and smart grid technologies. He further explained sub classification under YO2 category. For instance, sub classification ‘Y02C’ represents techologies related to capturing green house gases. Similarly YO2E enlist emissions reduction technologies related to energy generation, transmission or distribution.

photos-event 140903 PHO IPEX2014 chennai 1 1IPEX 2014 was a great success and was attended by more than 200 participants from industry, academia, legal fraternity, researchers, academicians, and MSMEs from India and abroad. The conference covered a broad range of IP issues including IP protection, management and commercialisation.

Mr. Chaitanya Prasad (Head of Patent Office in India), spoke about the vital benefits of IP protection. He emphasised that IP has to be used as a tool for business growth and stressed that people should come forward and participate actively in the IP environment. The Indian Patent office is making details available online of all patents which have expired till date. He said this information could be used by Indian SME’s to devleop new products.

Mr. Rajeev Ranjan (Principal Secretary, Highways and Minor Ports Department, Government of Tamil Nadu) said that India has come down in the Global index of innovation this year, which depicts that there is a need for Indian industry to be more innovative and competitive. He urged Indian small, medium enterprises to develop their understanding of the role of intellectual property to gain a competitive advantage and also for the overall growth of the economy.

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