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Knowing Intellectual Property rights

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By: Tajamul Naseem Lone

With the increased focus on innovation, research and cross border collaborations, the need to learn about Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to safeguard the inventions as well as innovations has increased among the students. The academic community needs a higher level of sensitization and exposure to patenting and technology commercialization. All academic and research institutions should also develop in- house expertise for assessment and filing of provisional patent applications as well as commercialization of patented technologies.

Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creations a person or a group of persons, an organization or an institute comes up with which may include inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected by law and enables people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish. The examples of it include Copyright, Patent, Trademark etc. Filing intellectual helps not only innovators protect their invention, but also better collaboration and funding opportunities.

As per my assessment most of the common people in general and the people associated with education (in one way or the other) in particular are not aware about IPR which is a hindrance in development and innovation. Mostly people who are engaged in PhD or other research activities are, to some extent, aware about Intellectual Property (IP). Lack of awareness is directly proportional to enthusiasm for making innovations in any field. To motivate people to do something is the basic process to make them utilize their intellectual capacity.

So, there is a need to create awareness among people from all spheres of life about the importance and need of IP. Digitalization and technology are outpacing developments in education. Nowadays children start their own companies, write blogs, and post in social media. Most of the things they do with the aid of digital technology are linked to their intellectual property (IP) or the IP of others, but their level of knowledge about this is still rather limited. It is therefore of key importance to raise pupils’ awareness in schools, showing how they could reap the benefits of IP knowledge in their private and professional lives. Helping teachers and education authorities with provision of objective, reliable and modern resources and IP information is also necessary.

The students are future innovators and intellectuals and have to carry forward the Nation on the road to progress and prosperity. Young students need to be made aware about IP from the very basic level as today’s students are tomorrows Scientists, Educators, Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, office bearers etc.  Lots of things they do are innovations but due to the lack of knowledge and awareness they are not able to secure their IP. IP should be taught as a part of syllabus so that students are, from the very beginning, enthusiastic to work on their ideas. IPRs have various verticals including patent, trademark, design and copyright, where some aspects are more talked about in the academic community than others. Foundational awareness regarding the rights of a creator needs to be developed in students from school level.

The writer is a Teacher. [email protected]

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