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ILF supplies farmers and rural communities with expert knowledge, technical innovations, and livelihood and business skills to sustainably grow their way to abundant harvests and increased income opportunities with the aim to transform and revitalize rural communities. Please find below various information about our organization, activities, and financials. If you require more information or would like to speak to us directly, please reach out at tbi@indigramlabs.org
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Intellectual Property Rights
On August 26th, 2019, Indigram Labs Foundation (ILF) has organised one-day workshop on
Intellectual Property Rights at India International Centre New Delhi Workshop has been
chaired by Dr. Mandira Roy (General Manager and Head, Technology commercialisation and
licensing, Gurugram) and Mr. Rahul Bagga (Director, Adastra IP, India & Malaysia) in
presence of Dr. Manisha Acharya (CEO, Indigram Labs Foundation). The discussion was
about intellectual property rights, a right that is used by a person or by a company to have
exclusive rights to use its own plans, ideas, or other intangible assets without the worry of
competition, at least for a specific period of time. These rights can include copyrights, patents,
trademarks and other secretes.
Participants from Start-ups, Colleges, E-cells, Incubators has attended the workshop.
Eminent speakers have taken different session on importance of Property Rights, Trademark,
Patent, Copyrights, filling IP. An interactive session by Mr. Rahul took first session on
Intellectual Property Rights for agri-businesses where he covered following topics.
1. Patents/ Trade Marks Filing – Registration Requirements
2. What IPRs are available for Agri-businesses?
3. What can be registered as trade mark?
Second session was conducted by Dr. Mandira Roy on IP Issues in Technology Transfer which
covered:
1. IP Due Diligence
2. IP Ownership
3. Foreground IP
4. Background IP
5. Right to Improvement
In continuation to the above she discussed about the procedure of IP filling and fees of the process.
Furthermore, she also discussed Startup incentives for filling IP.
Workshop was extremely informative for the participants and they actively participated in all the
sessions by coming up with their queries to which they have given a positive feedback at the end of the
workshop. A sapling was gifted to both spokespersons by our CEO, Dr. Manisha during the Beginning
of the workshop and a Momento was also offered by Dr. Saket Chattopadhyay in the last of the event
(Manager, Indigram Labs Foundation).
Certificates to all the participants was also awarded after successful completion of the workshop.
Take away message during the workshop was: Build Institutions not just money.



Written by Shiv Shankar (Research Associate ,ILF)

As per World Bank estimates, development in agriculture has the potential to end extreme poverty and to feed a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050. Advancements in technology across the globe like sensors, devices, machines, and information technology have brought fundamental transformation in agriculture. New technologies like Vertical/urban farming etc. have brought food production to consumers increasing efficiencies in the food chain.

Innovation in agriculture makes food and agriculture sector climate-smart, improves livelihoods, creates jobs (particularly for women and youth), boosts agribusiness and improves food security. To encourage innovation in agriculture, inventors or creators must be provided with intellectual property rights (IPR) in order to encourage and protect their innovation.

IPR provides exclusive legal rights to the creator so that he or she can engage in buying, selling, licensing and exchange activities for their innovative product for a specified period of time. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Intellectual property rights allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to benefit from their work or investment in a creation.

It requires great, time, effort, knowledge, skill and capital for the creation of something unique in nature. Such invention demands proper recognition and reward. The primary motive behind establishing IPR is driven by an economic cause. IPRs tend to provide the monopolistic right to the inventor for the commercial exploitation of innovation. However, the bigger dimension of establishing IPR is to improve the welfare of society. Through these rights, inventors are incentivized to invest in their work and to produce useful products or insights for the benefit of society at large. It will also create an enabling environment for accelerated R&D among agri-startups and Agri-preneurs and global competitiveness in Indian agriculture.

The Two-fold Protection

In India, broadly, twofold protection is provided to the plants: one through patents and another through plant variety protection developed from patents and sui generis systems.

In order to comply with the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement, India came up with the Patent reform of 2005. With this reform, product patents were introduced in all fields of sciences including pharmaceuticals, drugs, chemicals, and agriculture. Increased protection of the patent regime helps in accessing and importing advanced technologies from the developed nations to the developing countries like India. It provides patentee the right to prevent third parties from making, using or selling the patented product or process.

During the 90s and further in the 21st century, many existing laws were amended and new laws were created concerning intellectual property rights. One such important law namely ‘Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act was enacted in 2001 to bring India’s seed sector in line with the WTO TRIPS’ requirements. The Act granted specific rights to breeders, researchers, and farmers. Breeders’ rights confer exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the registered variety. Researchers’ rights grant researchers to use a registered variety for conducting experiments and use of variety as a source for creating other varieties. However, researchers are required to take authorization from the breeders for repeated use of registered variety. Farmers’ rights recognize farmers as a ‘breeder’ (for developing a new variety), a conservator (for conserving the genetic resources of land races and wild relatives of economic plants) and as a ‘user’ who is authorized to save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange and share or sell his farm produce, including seed of a variety protected under this Act. Also, under the sui-generis system of plant variety protection, a variety can be registered under either of four categories namely new variety, essentially derived varieties, extant variety, and farmers’ variety.

Opportunity, innovation& protection

Agritech start-ups have rapidly evolved over the past few years in India due to expanding digital penetration and funding. The future of the agriculture sector is largely dependent on innovation, data collaboration, easy working capital, and digital infrastructure. The Indian government is focused on facilitating a conducive environment for aspiring entrepreneurs so that they can contribute to the economic development of the country. In addition to this, a stricter IP regime is required for creating an enabling environment as well as protection for the aspiring and upcoming agri-startups and agri-preneurs. This will lead to increased R&D and technology-based innovation which would further contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the country.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are personal and meant for providing general information related to intellectual property rights and should only be treated as such.)

Source:

  1. Kandpal, A., Bhooshan, N., Pal, S. (2015). Recent Trend in Patenting Activity in India and its Implications for Agriculture, 28 (1), pp.139-146, DOI: 10.5958/0974-0279.2015.00011.7
  2. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/41443/1/JIPR%2022%281%29%2032-41.pdf
  3. http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/33192
  4. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2912935


After a successful launch of the first cohort of the accelerator program, Surge, Sequoia has selected 20 startups under the second edition. Among them, 13 startups have been picked up from India, whereas rest belongs to Southeast Asia.

While the startups from the first cohort are still growing and raising fresh capital from the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, selected startups from the second batch also started receiving capital from Sequoia Capital.

Kicking off the first funding round soon after getting a seat in Surge, Bijak, an agritech platform, has raised $2.5 million (Rs 18.5 crore) from Surge Venture II and Omidyar Network. Surge invested Rs 10.7 crore while the rest came from Omidyar.

It’s worth noting that Omidyar is an existing investor in the company. Better Capital and Nipun Mehra also participated in the round.

According to RoC filing with MCA, the Gurugram-based startup has allotted 2942 seed CCPS at a price of Rs 48,516.79 per share and at an interest rate of 0.001%.

Sequoia, through Surge, had picked up startups from diverse sectors such as consumer internet, edtech, agritech, clean energy, social commerce, fintech, SaaS, robotic, and DTC brands.

Bijak is a B2B platform for agricultural commodities that gives buyers and sellers better prices, improve their working capital cycle and optimised logistics.

Founded in January 2019 and formally launched in May by Nukul Upadhye, Mahesh Jakhotia, Jitender Bedwal, Daya Rai and Nikhil Tripathi, Bijak essentially provides quick time disbursal of loan, reduces cost, eliminate wastage via logistics and convenient payment channel and works as a bookkeeping app.

Already backed by the likes of Omidyar, Omnivore Partners, Bijak app is available in several local languages and caters people in the agricultural-rich states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and Uttarakhand.

Apart from Bijak, Neo banking startup Juno and unified data platform Hevo Data, which were also selected under Surge second edition, had raised seed capital.



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    Indigram Labs Foundation (ILF) was founded in 2015, as Technology Business Incubator with the support of NSTEDB, DST, GoI. We believe that entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to make the positive global change while remaining profitable. They have the power to change lives and livelihoods in the communities and the country. We see them as the conduit for real change and development – a ripple effect that begins with the business and moves into the community at the grassroots level.


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