GIPC 2024: Research, innovation and IP as key drivers of global growth

10 January 2024

GIPC 2024: Research, innovation and IP as key drivers of global growth

“It is important we look to research, innovation and inventions,” said Dhanpat Ram Agarwal, founder director of the Global IP Convention (GIPC) in Kolkata. He spoke during the inaugural session of the 15th GIPC.

Discussing innovation, Agarwal explained it was an inclusive term that relates to ideas to be implemented at the ground level and that it is in all spheres of life.

IP as a driver of growth

Agarwal said IP-intensive industries generate 34 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), adding that IP innovation is helping companies and countries grow. For example, in 1980, China had a GDP of US$300 billion; by 2023, it was US$19 trillion. He attributed this growth not to chance but to strategic investments in innovation.

In contrast with China, the U.S. represents 5 percent of the global population but nearly 25 percent of the global economy, and India represents 18 percent of the global population but only 3.5 percent of the global GDP. Agarwal put these differences down to growth through innovation and IP.

During the same session, Rajarshi Gupta, managing director and CEO of ONGC Videsh in Noida, emphasized the importance of encouraging innovators by protecting their creations. “We have witnessed a paradigm shift in industry and innovation, and the impact of IP remains paramount,” he said.

Understanding Innovation

“But does India understand the value of innovation?” asked Hemant Singh, president of the AIPPI India Group and founder and managing partner of Inttl Advocare in New Delhi. He noted a lack of passion, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.

Despite standing as a global drug manufacturer of generic drugs, India isn’t innovating in this area, he pointed out. “If you do not protect innovative drugs, why would you invest?” he said, hinting at the challenges Indian companies face and emphasizing the importance of protecting innovation. “We should not make it difficult to patent innovation.”

“Innovation is not just restricted to science and technology,” explained Pravin Anand, managing partner of Anand and Anand in Noida. He highlighted how the Delhi High Court has developed a hybrid system of online and in-person sessions for dispute resolution, allowing all parties to participate and boosting the efficiency of the court.

Courts also now include orders for defendants to perform socially responsible initiatives rather than paying monetary penalties. For instance, a party was ordered to plant trees instead of paying restitution. In addition, the courts have also set up a specific IP division, helping speed up cases. “This needs to be introduced elsewhere,” said Anand.

Is that enough?

According to Justice Anita Sumanth, judge of the Madras High Court, there is not enough innovation. Quoting Madonna, she said we live in a material world, constantly generating new ideas constant that could improve our lives.

To improve innovation, Sumanth noted the necessity for investment in research, highlighting India’s current low levels of such funding. She also underscored the inclusive nature of innovation and the exclusivity of IP. According to her, finding a balance between the societal benefits and the rights of the IP owner is essential, even as more innovative ideas emerge.

Ending on a hopeful note, Sumanth highlighted that “you cannot use up creativity; the more you use, the more you create.”

The 15th GIPC was held at the Leela Ambience Gurugram on January 7 to 8, 2024.

 - Darren Barton

Law firms

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