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Potential for Indian products is huge but founders must invest more on IP rights: MoS Meenakshi Lekhi

The market for Indian products is huge globally as they are priced competitively and have high innovation standards, said Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture.

Sharing insights with startup founders at an event in Bengaluru organised by DeshKeLiye, a pan-India initiative by a group of entrepreneurs and professionals, Lekhi said the five major “stan” countries, namely Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, want to work with India.

“They are all looking forward to India’s way of handling technology and reaching out to people because problems are the same the world over,” the minister said, adding that many African countries too want to work with India—as the trust factor for India among the general public of these countries is high.

However, Lekhi remarked, Indians are losing out somewhat by not having enough patents in their names. Stressing the need for better intellectual property rights (IPR), she said that the government was doing its bit, but founders also need to invest a bit more on IPR.

“Because, once you lose an IPR, your own creation, which gets copied by one of the MNCs or somebody, you lose more business, loyalty, and credibility as compared to those guys who build on your credibility,” said Lekhi, who is also a Supreme Court lawyer.

“If you don’t go in for IPR and trademark registration, you lose that, and somebody else is making money on your brains; so it is as much part of business,” she said, adding that India has come a long way in terms of innovation.

Lekhi said India gets 55 patents and 600 trademarks registered every single day. She also pointed out that the country was moving up the innovation index. India ranked 40th out of 132 economies in the Global Innovation Index 2023 rankings, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, moving up from

81 in 2015.

The minister said India’s potential was far greater and urged startup founders to register for patents and trademarks more actively.

IndiQube was the venue partner of the event.

Edited by Swetha Kannan

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