Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Microsoft launches legal online community portal on IPR - Legaladda.com

Microsoft India has launched a legal online community portal, Legaladda.com, which will offer an online community for interaction between legal professionals and update people on topics like intellectual property rights. The company also announced the awardees of the ‘Microsoft Intellectual Property Scholar Programme’.

Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said, “Enforcing IPR laws has been a challenge and the industry, as per studies, has been losing nearly 72 per cent of its revenue due to circulation of pirated software – a menace which hasn’t been checked due to poor awareness among law-enforcing agencies here.”

She further said, “If India has to achieve the status of a truly knowledge-based economy, fostering innovation and creating a strong IPR environment is critical. The Microsoft Intellectual Property Scholar Programme is an attempt to create a sustainable IPR ecosystem, whereby we promote, recognise and reward the best of breed budding IPR practitioners in the country today. It is an investment in India’s future.”

“We are lacking in respect for intellectual property rights. Nearly 95 per cent of the software gets pirated across pharmaceutical, music and IT industry. We should ensure that the laws are in force. Microsoft is offering scholarships to law students to encourage them to specialise in the IT and Intellectual Property field,” Dhawan added.

The scholarship was initiated in 2006 with scholarships for students of Nalsar. The programme has now been extended to other law colleges and universities across the country. The scholarship amount is Rs 80,000 per student and is awarded on the basis of the evaluation of the student’s research papers on pre-approved topics related to IPR by experts from the law firm Amarchand and Mangaldas as well as the legal and corporate affairs team at Microsoft India.

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