CSIR Goes For A New Patenting Model

Seema Singh | Forbes India Magazine | April 28, 2011
India’s premier science council has realised the Western model of patenting doesn’t work here...

...“Everything is not commerce. I am asking [for] a new developmental model which is people-centric,” says CSIR’s current director general, Samir Brahmachari. In a globalised world, when IP is held in one country, the product is designed in another, and manufactured and sold in some other countries, it’s difficult to gauge the true value of IP that also includes public welfare, he says.

As a result, CSIR will now follow a three tiered licensing approach....

...“If Brahmachari’s perspective is that universities should license inventions for low royalties in some cases, focusing on improving welfare rather than generating revenues, this is welcome news,” says Bhaven Sampat, professor at Columbia University, who has extensively studied university research and patenting. Indeed, in some cases the best form of ‘technology transfer’ could be to eschew patents and licences altogether and place the research results in the public domain, he says.

If you look at patenting from a global angle, says Mashelkar (now president of Global Research Alliance), NGOs take one extreme view, companies take another. “We have to have a middle path for the society to benefit,” he says. “In what CSIR is now attempting, India can teach a new model to the world.”