I’ve struggled with a major writer’s block, all of June. I have been pondering what a good first article might be, for our blog here at PatNMarks. In the end I decided that Intellectual Property (IP) in India is still, for all intents and purposes, a fresh sheet of paper. No start can be a bad start.
In my experiences with innovators, I face a common theme that continues to amuse and disturb me equally. First, most innovators are afraid to disclose sufficient information. No amount of pleading with the brightest minds that only what is disclosed can be protected works, sometimes. Second, there is some bewilderment about what the valueof IP really is. I attribute this to the vast disconnect between practitioners and innovators. Each one sits in their own cloister and is afraid to look outside. Hopefully, discussion generated here will help rid some of the myths.
In the past few years, I have been constantly amazed at the amount of intellectual capital we possess right here. Even though, most of our sectors seem to strictly play within the service arena. If there be more debunking of folklore about IP, maybe some of these really smart people will feel more encouraged to hold on to some of their ideas. There is a real need for this for several reasons. Establishing such capital will go a long way to procure the mileage smaller and medium sized businesses need to differentiate themselves in the market. Protecting ideas always provides the leverage to run farther with the products generated as a result of those ideas. Encouraging research and development and more abstractly, critical thought, is the hallmark of progress. R&D need not be limited to the areas of pure science or medicine. Small and medium sized businesses should definitely consider putting in place teams to plan and innovate, in order to stay ahead of the curve. In doing so, they should also recognize the rewards IP rights bring with them and utilize them. The wealth in IP is not limited to future forecasts. The history of thought behind big ideas is well maintained by reasonable checkpoints in the literature that is available. This is another tool that small and medium businesses can fully utilize.
One of my favourite authors, John Steinbeck, wrote several lines that I live furiously by. In his book called East of Eden, he introduces a character called Sam Hamilton who is a shining man, constantly inventing things. Often in my first meetings with inventors, I wonder if I will meet the next Sam Hamilton. Some one who is your average next-door-neighbor, who invented the next big thing.
And like Robbie Maltby (another of Steinbeck’s characters) would say: “It behoofs us to be ready!“