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Reflections from Ooty

Credit: Bhaskar Dutta






Ooty, April 13th-16th 2008

Key players in intellectual property management from India and other parts of the world gathered at the cool, picturesque environs of Ooty at the Hotel Sullivan Court under the auspices of the Society for Technology Management (STEM) graduate course in Intellectual Property Management and Technology Transfer to examine the role of IP as a strategic technology transfer tool.  The event was made possible by generous funding from the Department of Bio Technology (DBT), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Sathguru Management Consultants. The event attracted participation from the US, Middle East, South Asia and Asia-Pacific.
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Key players in intellectual property management from India and other parts of the world gathered at the cool, picturesque environs of Ooty at the Hotel Sullivan Court under the auspices of the Society for Technology Management (STEM) Graduate course in Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Transfer to examine the role of IP as a strategic technology transfer tool.  The event was made possible by generous funding from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Sathguru Management Consultants. The event attracted wide interest from across the world, and participation from the US, Middle East, South Asia and Asia-Pacific.

Using case studies, best practices and interactive discussions, eminent international faculty, globally experienced senior IP practitioners and decision-makers from prominent public research institutions, regulatory authorities and international bodies involved in intellectual property management shared their insights and experience on how IP can be leveraged to ensure enhanced and enduring competitive advantages. Participants at the program had the opportunity to reflect on and apply these principles and practices to their respective institutional environment, policy and business methods.

The three day event saw global experts in IP share their experiences and insights with a healthy mix of participants from public and private enterprises from India and abroad. Speakers included John Fraser, Executive Director of the Office of IP Development and Commercialization, Florida State University; K. Satyanarayana, senior Deputy Director General and chief of IPR unit of the ICMR; Richard Cahoon, vice president of Cornell Research Foundation (CRF), Sadhana Srivastava, Assistant Director General, ICMR; Patricia McClary, Associate University Counsel, Cornell University; K. Ragunathan, Director, Sathguru Management Consultants; Dominic Keating, IPR Attaché, US Embassy, India, K. Vijayaraghavan, Honorary President of STEM; and R. K. Gupta, Head, IP Management Division, CSIR.

Public sector was represented by senior scientists and policy makers from all major research institutions in India and also the IP office of the Bureau of Agriculture Research, Philippines and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). There was enthusiastic response from the private enterprise for the conference. The event witnessed keen participation from the pharma, agri, chemical, legal, FMCG, IP analytics, and legal process outsourcing (LPOs) sectors. Participation from the software sector was significant with Wipro and TCS sending their senior professionals. IP managers from Dupont, ITC R&D centre and Reliance also marked their presence through active knowledge transfers during the post presentation and panel discussions.

K. Vijayaraghavan welcomed the participants with a short introduction to the STEM initiative and the various activities it has been involved in since its inception in 2005. He went on to expand on the idea behind the present program and described it not merely as an opportunity to educate oneself on recent developments in the field of intellectual property management, but also to network and share ideas and views through informal gatherings and meetings.                                 

After a brief overview on the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), John Fraser provided the audience with a global perspective of the trends in IP protection around the world and their impact on the way organizations do business.

John Fraser’s presentation was complemented by the next presentation by K. Satyanarayana, who focused on the Indian scenario. He provided the participants with the rationale behind IP protection systems around the world and India’s preparedness doing business with special reference to the Health sector in an emerging environment where IP property is becoming more and more sacrosanct.

The first session on the second day was devoted to presentations focusing on protecting IP. Richard Cahoon provided his insights on IP protection using patents, while Patricia McClary spoke on protection methods utilizing non-patent strategies such as copyrights and trademarks. During the post-lunch session, John Fraser returned to walk the participants through strategies that may be adopted to identify, prosecute or remedy patent infringements.

Participants  were then treated to the more technical aspects of IP management with K Ragunathan’s presentation on methods and strategies for technology valuation and preparing due diligence models. The presentation provided participants with practical tips on managing royalties, revenue streams and auditing for royalties.

In the final session on the second day, R. K Gupta elaborated on the various steps involved in licensing technology right from identifying licensable IP down to negotiating and finalizing licensing terms.

The first session on the third day focused on evolving trends in institutional IP policies with special emphasis on usage policies for results of research. Dominic Keating, in his presentation, provided an overview of the Bayh Dole act and the trends in IP policy with specific reference to the public sector. This presentation assumed significance as the Indian government is currently in the process of drafting its own IP act modeled on the Bayh-Dole act. The developments in India have garnered global interest. Dominic’s presentation was complemented by K. Vijayaraghavan’s presentation on corporate IP policy and technology transfer issues illustrated through various examples from the private sector.

Patricia McClary returned to enlighten participants on the concept of conflicts of interest in the context of inter-institutional linkages, spin-offs and post-licensing engagements. For the penultimate presentation John Fraser provided participants with his insights on managing a technology transfer office. He touched on various strategies that need to be adopted vis-à-vis public and private enterprises and best practices. Richard Cahoon added his insights based on his own experiences with managing technology transfer issues in the US.

Participants and faculty then went on to participate in special interest group discussions in the areas of biomedicine, plant genetics and software and  other specialized knowledge bases.

The well participated conference which witnessed much in the way of discussions and networking came to a close on the night of April 15 with the distribution of certificates and a dinner party accompanied by music from a live band.