Sunday, September 23, 2007

Encouraging patent filings by students

I had attended the Karnataka Student Paper Awards event in Bangalore on Sept 22, 07, and had a chat with some of the prizewinners. Some of the ideas I heard about were really cool, and had significant business potential. A student himself/herself might not think of a filing a patent application even when this would be a very appropriate thing to do. So, I looked up the web to find examples of university policies for encouraging student filing of patent applications. Here are some of the relevant links:

A few points I noted were the following:

a) Several universities/colleges are willing to cover the costs of patenting a student’s invention, if it arises from his/her work at the university.

b) Depending upon the extent of university’s contribution to the student’s patent, the university could ask for a part of the commercial benefits arising from the patent.

Obviously the educational institution could teach Intellectual Property Rights ideas and encourage students to write disclosures of inventions. They could have faculty advise the students on improving the application. The educational institution could also market the idea to potential licensees. I believe that efforts in this direction would be of great value as long as all this is done under well-written policies and guidelines, and is properly supervised. The institution could set part a sum of money annually for this activity, and spend it wisely by choosing inventions it wishes to be involved in as a party spending money on the patenting process. In any case, teaching on IPR topics, and consultation for students on their inventions could be made available separately, protecting student interests by a suitable non-disclosure agreement arrangement.

All of us interested in encouraging student creativity should share information about good examples of these practices, and on success stories of student invention.

Srinivasan Ramani


Ankit Dangi said...

Sir, this might be a wrong place for me to comment, but, it has been a long time, since, we've heard from you. Looking forward, for your reply.

Best wishes, for good health.

Srinivasan Ramani said...

Thanks, Ankit. Why the "Sir"? Are you a student?

Ankit Dangi said...


Yes, I'm a student, and see you and your ideas, as food for thoughts for me. Hence, the "Sir".

Srinivasan Ramani said...

Well, Ankit. Is there anything that you would like me to cover? You have a rough idea of my range of interests having seen what I have written about in my blog so far.

I should add: I encourage my students to call me Ramani, just to remind me that the days of the guru's ashrams are over. What I say is not the last word, and I hope you guys will find out anything wrong/weak in what I say!

Ankit Dangi said...

Sure, I'll keep in mind.

I'm very new to AI, and find Knowledge Representation interesting. But, how does one start things from scratch? A search, on the internet, brings too many things, and I get lost, since, I'm unaware of many things happening in the field.

I would like you to cover KR, but would also like to hear from other varied interests of yours too. A dedicated blog for your perspectives of AI, and 'some' aspects of KR dedicated on it might be useful for students who see, working and contributing in AI.

I just hope, I've not asked for 'much', considering the time you might be having.

Anil said...

While I agree that encouraging student research is important, I think it's probably even more important to support entrepreneurship. Universities should be more pro-active in helping students incubate start ups, based on the ideas/patents that students may come up with.

This is something that isn't very widespread in Indian Universities.

Olivia said...

Good for people to know.