India to protect university patents

The Indian government is moving towards approving a law that will create a framework for universities to patent their discoveries. Currently, ownership of innovations made through government-funded institutions belong to the Indian government, much like the situation in the US before the Baye-Dole Act was passed in 1980. That law stated that technologies developed with federal funding at a university belong to the institution. Its passing spurred universities to establish linkurl:tech transfer

Alla Katsnelson
Mar 19, 2008
The Indian government is moving towards approving a law that will create a framework for universities to patent their discoveries. Currently, ownership of innovations made through government-funded institutions belong to the Indian government, much like the situation in the US before the Baye-Dole Act was passed in 1980. That law stated that technologies developed with federal funding at a university belong to the institution. Its passing spurred universities to establish linkurl:tech transfer offices;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39379/ to help researchers commercialize inventions; the number of patents shot up, as did venture funding for innovations developed at academic institutions. The law now wending its way through Indian parliament is modeled closely after the Baye-Dole Act. According to Gregory Kalbaugh, who heads the life sciences working group of the U.S.-India Business Council within the US Chamber of Commerce, it would be a similar boon for India. "India graduates probably the second-largest number of PhDs in the...
p of innovations made through government-funded institutions belong to the Indian government, much like the situation in the US before the Baye-Dole Act was passed in 1980. That law stated that technologies developed with federal funding at a university belong to the institution. Its passing spurred universities to establish linkurl:tech transfer offices;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39379/ to help researchers commercialize inventions; the number of patents shot up, as did venture funding for innovations developed at academic institutions. The law now wending its way through Indian parliament is modeled closely after the Baye-Dole Act. According to Gregory Kalbaugh, who heads the life sciences working group of the U.S.-India Business Council within the US Chamber of Commerce, it would be a similar boon for India. "India graduates probably the second-largest number of PhDs in the world -- it's the place investors want to be," Kalbaugh said. But they stay away because under the current system it's unclear what role the linkurl:private sector;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15019/ should play in an invention made by a government-funded institution. By resolving that question, a legal framework for university patenting would spur investors to forge university research collaborations. "IP has always been a neglected aspect of Indian science (particularly the area of medical research) where pursuit of knowledge is always considered at par with act of worship," Akshay Anand, a professor of neurology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, wrote in an Email to The Scientist. "As a result, even the best research in Indian science goes unpatented and even unpublished." Because most Indian research is funded by the government, wrote Anand, there's been very little impetus to encourage patenting intellectual property, even though doing so would generate money for the institutions. But the new law could help change that by placing emphasis on the importance and value of patents.

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