CHENNAI: UK companies reluctant to invest in India because of stringent Intellectual Property (IP) Rights laws now have a comprehensive guidebook to get the IPR ball rolling.
Launched on Wednesday by Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, the ‘IP Smart Approach to Doing Business in India’ is a toolkit and a resource designed specifically for UK companies to create and implement an India-specific IP strategy.
Released after close to a year of research and study by city-based IP DOME Strategy Advisors, under a grant from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) - the idea is that this resource will encourage partnerships between Indian and British companies.
Andrew Davidson, head of Global Cooperation and Development, UKIPO, said,”We hear from a range of Indian and international companies that questions of technology transfer, licensing and brand protection can throw up a range of concerns. So this effort is valuable and hugely supportive of the creative and innovative sectors.”
According to Swapna Sundar, CEO of IP DOME as well as author of the guide, the potentially interested sectors also include engineering and components, pharma and lower-end FMCG. However, at the moment, she said, “Most of them prefer to tie up with existing partners of their parent companies in India, because of their IP-related concerns.”
As for those not convinced about the importance of IP, Bharat Joshi came armed with statistics. “The UK’s total investment in IP rights, that’s patents, designs, copyrights and trademarks, runs at over four per cent of our GDP.” To put that into perspective, he elaborated with some massive numbers, “In 2011, we invested almost half as much again on intangible assets, including IP, 127 billion pounds, compared with 88 billion pounds on tangible assets.” Joshi also stressed that this toolkit would be especially relevant to SMEs as it is a free resource and is available online as well.