APAA e-Newsletter (Issue No. 38, December 2023)

Visit of WIPO’s Director General to India – October 10 to 13, 2023

S Majumdar, S Majumdar & Co (India)

Director General of WIPO, Mr. Daren Tang visited India from October 10 to 13, 2023, to attend the National Intellectual Property Conference, 2023 entitled “Nurturing Growth of IP for Knowledge Economy” where he met with Ministers, Judges of High Court, Dignitaries, senior government officials, business and academic representatives as well as other stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem. He extensively discussed the different spheres of intellectual property laws in India and its framework along with the opportunities for the growth of people in this domain.

Mr. Tang observed that many of India’s initiatives to promote innovation among its youth as well as its large and vibrant start-up community can be an inspiration to other developing countries.

Mr. Tang met with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss the role of innovation in spurring economic, social, and cultural growth as well as environmental sustainability. During his meeting with Minister of State, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Mr. Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, he discussed intensively the importance of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) as they form the backbone of the economy, and how WIPO can support India by sharing its knowledge and tools to assist in their IP journey.

Mr. Tang meets Judges at the Delhi High Court

In a meeting with Mr.S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Tang said that WIPO is looking forward to opening a new chapter of collaboration with India, with the Minister identifying with WIPO’s vision for innovation-driven development and how IP can be a catalyst for growth.

Mr. Tang also had a series of meetings with Prof. (Dr.) Unnat P. Pandit, Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, and his colleagues to discuss the implementation of a new WIPO-India Action Plan and other matters relating to bilateral cooperation and WIPO’s support to the strengthening of India’s innovation ecosystem. The conference assumed greater significance when the Director General signed the following agreements for the growth and development in the field of Intellectual Property in India:-
• In the presence of Honourable Minister Shri Piyush Goyal, the WIPO-India Action Plan to deepen strategic ties.
• In the presence of Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, Science and Technology, Mr. Tang signed an agreement with the Department of Biotechnology formalizing a collaboration to support four WIPO funded Fellows to participate in the “Biodesign Program.”
• An agreement to include India’s collection of relevant judicial decisions in the WIPO Lex Judgments database.
• A letter of intent to establish a Joint Master’s degree in IP with the National Law University, New Delhi.
• To support SMEs in India, The Director General also launched an India-customized version of WIPO’s IP Diagnostics tool which will be translated into India’s six main languages.

Mr. Tang further congratulated India and the Chairman of the Space Commission Sreedhara Somanath on India becoming the first country to successfully soft-land the Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander on the moon’s south pole.

At CSIR, the National Institute for Science Communication and Policy Research, the Director General visited the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a pioneering initiative of India to protect Indian traditional medicinal knowledge and prevent its misappropriation.

At the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Mr. Tang met with creators and discussed the need to establish balance in the IP system to ensure that it also serves the traditionally underserved, including women, young people, SMEs, and indigenous communities.

Mr. Tang further visited one of India’s 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs and met a group of young innovators. The Atal program stimulates a problem-solving, innovative mindset in children. It had already reached 8 million children across the country. At meetings organized by Startup India and NITI Aayog , the Director General met with representatives from the industry – including those from highly valued “unicorn” enterprises – as well as associations, start-ups, and incubators.

Mr. Tang was also a part of various other sessions held in the Conference such as “Showcasing of Breakthrough Technologies in India”, “WIPO-IP Diagnostics, India Adaptation”, “National IP & WIPO Awards”, “IP Manthan on Nurturing Growth of IP driven Knowledge Economy”.