Leading IP Magazine Managing Intellectual Property (which you may access from the link on our blog) has come out with a list of Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential people. With the Director General of the WHO, Magaret Chan heading the list, it comes as no surprise that two very capable countrymen of our own are in the top 10 of the compiled list- NN Prasad and Kapil Sibal.
“Naresh Prasad has the challenging task of ensuring that the country’s IP infrastructure keeps up with the rise in demand. He has already achieved some success: Delhi’s Patent and Trade Mark Office used to be so bad that, by his own admission, Prasad used to tell visiting delegations that it was closed for a holiday whenever they asked to visit; now it has a world-class facility on the outskirts of town. Similar upgrades to India’s three other patent offices, along with a new training centre in Nagpur, have been announced and Prasad has helped develop long-awaited electronic patent and trade mark databases. He is also in charge of working with the TRIPs council of the WTO and WIPO, where his input was viewed as critical in finally launching the development agenda. But serious challenges remain. India’s four patent offices are under increasing scrutiny, especially by NGOs campaigning for greater access to medicines, and the Chennai Patent Office last year granted Roche’s patent application for valganciclovir without hearing oppositions filed by two organizations including the Delhi Network of Positive People. The arrest of an official at the trade marks registry in Chennai for corruption also caused controversy, but IP lawyers in India are confident that the right man is in place to improve the system.”
Our sources tell us that Mr. Prasad has done an excellent job as Joint Secretary of the DIPP and especially in chairing the meetings currently being organised that debate the Draft Patent Manual.
The second Indian to make it to the top ten of the list is Mr. Kapil Sibal, who “has been one of India‘s most vocal proponents of IP for a number of years. While in opposition he supported India‘s controversial Patents Act of 2005, which reintroduced product patents and brought India‘s law into compliance with TRIPs. He regularly delivers speeches to business groups throughout the country in which he stresses the importance of developing innovation in India, rather than relying on work off-shored by other countries.” With the introduction of new and controversial ideas and policies such as the ‘Innovation Law’and the Indian Bayh Dole Bill, all of which Mr. Sibal has been a vocal supporter of, MIP predicts that one day he may be as famous as other patent advocates like Birch Bayh and Bob Dole.
Other persons on this list include the prolific Mr. Wang Qishan, Francis Gurry and Rhonda Steele. Our congratulations to all those who have made the list.