A Muga GI outreach programme was organized by TUIPR Cell in Lakhimpur, Assam, on 17th March, 2015, with logistics support of the recently formed “Intellectual Property Rights Cell” of Dibrugarh University and North Lakhimpur College. This outreach programme on “Effective utilization of Muga Silk of Assam Geographical Indication for community benefit of Muga stakeholders”, was an initiative based on the findings and recommendations of the Research project entitled “Muga GI” under MHRD-IPR Chair Professor, Tezpur University. 92 stake holders of MUGA from Lakhimpur and nearby villages filled their application forms to become “Authorised Users” of “GI- MUGA Silk of Assam” which were critically scrutinised by the TUIPR resource persons and student volunteers during the “facilitation session”. These applications were sent to the GI Registry for further processing.
The participants expressed their grave concern on the uncontrolled proliferation of “adulterated products” being passed off as MUGA and the critical need for the establishment of an effective central inspection body by the State Government with enforcement powers to introduce checks in the market place to ensure that only genuine MUGA products are allowed to be called “MUGA”. TUIPR Cell plans to formally take up these issues with the appropriate State Authorities to address these concerns.
The first ever regional workshop on Geographical Indications in North-East India was organized by GI Registry Chennai in collaboration with TUIPR Cell, Tezpur University and North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi) on 9th January 2015 in Guwahati. This workshop aimed at providing information on the importance of GIs in the North Eastern Region for the protection of names of diverse products, originating in the North Eastern Region that have earned a reputation over the years in the market place. The programme included case studies, presentations and interactive sessions among registered GI owners, State Government Departments, Financial Institutions, NGOs and the GI Stake Holders. The discussions were focused to areas like realization of full commercial and socio-economic benefits of GIs to make the participants aware of the steps necessary to be taken at the grassroots level and to make them conscious of the possible hurdles that they might have to overcome.
The workshop was attended by 92 participants from the State Administration, Government and Non-government organizations, academic institutions (NLUJAA-Guwahati, IIT-Guwahati, Dibrugarh University), national-regional print and electronic media. In addition to several entrepreneurs, a number of weavers from Boko and Sualkuchi also participated. During this workshop it was realised that much is still needed to be done at the grassroots level to channelize the potential benefits from the status of Geographical Indications in the marketplace to reach even the ordinary stakeholder in the products’ value chain.
A one-day workshop was organized by TUIPR cell in Tezpur University, in collaboration with DST, TIFAC on “Patent Search and Analysis”. 57 number of participants had attended the workshop that consisted of four technical sessions. The first technical session being an “Introduction to Patent Search and Landscaping” by MHRD Chair Professor, Tezpur University, Prof. Prabuddha Ganguli, which was followed by the next technical session on “Patent Searching: Practical Approach to exercising databases and Patent Information” by Shri Yashwant Dev Panwar, Director, TIFAC. The next practical sessions involved “practical patent search and analysis” jointly conducted by Prof. Prabuddha Ganguli and Shri Yashwant Dev Panwar. During these sessions, each participant was provided with a desktop computer for the hands-on experience on accessing and manipulating various free databases such as the USPTO, EPO, SIPO (Chinese), Indian Patent Office, WIPO (for PCT Publications). The participants were exposed to the power of these databases and how they could search and access patents in a targeted manner.