National Intellectual Property Organization
World Intellectual Property Day
April 26, 2010

 
Nipo in News
Director, NIPO, Mr James recently participated in a panel discussion on use of Geographical Indications for development in Geneva. The December 21, 2009 issue of the Intellectual Property Watch, an online journal, carried a report on his presentation by Kaitilin Mara. The following extracts are from the report:
"T.C. James, who is the director of the National Intellectual Property Organization in India, gave one success story in the form of Pochampally Ikat. Pochampally is a small town known for its Ikat weaving, producing hand-dyed fabrics unique traditional patterns. There was a big market demand for this fabric, James said, yet a government survey of the region revealed over half the population was living below the poverty line.

"What was happening was a misappropriation of the patterns and name by large-scale producers outside the area, he said, and the subsequent manufacture of the products in these large mills usurped livelihood from the handloom weavers, causing many to switch professions, said James.

"In 2004-2005, a weavers association was formed, and IP rights such as copyright, trademark, industrial design and geographical indications were obtained, he said. A study afterwards found a twenty percent increase in sales, and also found significant increases in those participating in weaving. A side benefit was that women, who saw a lot of this income passing to them, saw their ability to assert themselves increase.

"Such proactive government action, said James, is often needed, because the people involved are often not rich or powerful. Nongovernmental organisations, he added, can also contribute in the form of technical assistance programmes. But, he stressed, outside assistance must be careful to represent producers."

Link to the article: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/?p=8808








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