Technology and Innovation Support Center

Establishing Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) in Sri Lanka is a joint project of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) of Sri Lanka. TISC program in the university is designed to give university staff and local inventers easy access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services.

TISC Objectives

  • Promote creativity among university academics, undergraduates and local inventers
  • Stimulate innovation within the university community and local inventers and contribute to the economic growth of the country by facilitating access to technological information and assisting effective exploitation of the technological information.
  • Increase awareness of all aspects of intellectual property rights among university community and local inventers
  • Provide necessary assistance to researchers to find technological information in order to develop innovative ideas by providing online access to patent and non-patent information through intended TISC network to be established in Sri Lanka
  • Optimize the environment and incentives for the creation of new knowledge
  • Increase the number of patent applications by the university staff, students and local inventers
  • Mobilize university graduates and local inventers with innovation potential for entrepreneurial careers, enhancing their entrepreneurial skills, and providing support for business start-up

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property means the rights resulting from the creations of the human mind. It generally embraces the rights relating to:-

  • literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, computer programs, databases, drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs;
  • performances of performing artists, sound recordings and broadcasts;
  • inventions;
  • industrial designs;
  • trademarks, service marks, commercial names and designations;
  • protection against unfair competition and
  • all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields such as lay-out designs of integrated circuits, new varieties of plants (plant breeders’ rights), Geographical Indications and undisclosed information including trade secrets.

Intellectual Property is traditionally divided into two categories: (i) Industrial Property which includes patents for inventions, trademarks and service marks, industrial designs and Geographical Indications and (ii) Copyright which covers literary and artistic works. The rights of performing artists, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations are known as the related rights or neighbouring rights.

Intellectual property rights share the characteristics of other property rights – they can be owned, alienated and licensed. They allow the creator or owner of a patent, trademark, or copyright etc. to benefit from his or her own creative work. These rights have been recognized in several International Conventions on Intellectual Property.

Why promote and protect intellectual property?

There are several compelling reasons such as: human creativity is the foundation of human civilization, progress and well-being. The protection of creative efforts encourage further creations, enhances investment and stimulates transfer of technology and spurs economic growth, creates new industries and employment, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life. Thus, an efficient and equitable intellectual property system can effectively contribute to the economic, technological, social and cultural development. The intellectual property system attempts to achieve a balance between the rights of the creators and the interest of society as a whole, thereby introducing an environment where the creativity in every sphere of human endeavor can flourish, to the benefit of all.

Intellectual Property system in Sri Lanka

The current Intellectual Property system in Sri Lanka is governed by the Intellectual Property Act, No. 36 of 2003 which makes provisions for a variety of Intellectual Property rights and their acquisition, management and enforcement. The National Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka established under this law is the only government department, which is responsible for the administration of the Intellectual Property System in Sri Lanka.

Why Patents?

Patents protect inventions and ensure the inventors the benefits resulting from the inventions thereby providing incentives for inventiveness, encouraging further inventions and promoting investment. This will spur the economic and technological development. Patent documents already granted describe newly invented technologies and are available for anyone to refer to. They contain vital information for researchers, inventors and enterprises. who want to keep up with new developments, carry out R&D activities and use new technologies.

What is a Patent?

The State grants the inventor, by means of a patent, a monopoly, i.e. the right to exclude others from making, using and selling the qualified invention for a period of 20 years from the date of application for the patent. The owner of the patent can use, sell or license the patented technology and derive financial benefits.

What is not patentable?

(i) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(ii) plants, animals micro organisms other than transgenic micro organisms and an essentially biological process for the production of plants and animals other than non biological and micro-biological processes;

(iii) schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games

(iv) methods for treatment of human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practiced on human or animal body

(v) inventions which are necessary to protect public order, morality including human animal or plant life, health, or to avoid serious prejudice to environment.

How to Protect Inventions Abroad?

A patent is valid only in the country where it is granted. As Sri Lanka is a member of the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property, Sri Lankans can obtain patents for their inventions in any member country of the Paris Convention under the national law of the relevant country. Almost all the countries are members of this convention. Applicant can claim priority under the Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property in its member countries which means that claiming the effect of initial filing date in subsequent filing in other member states (if filed within 1 year from the date of application in Sri Lanka).

All Sri Lankan nationals or residents can apply under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) administered by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva. You may apply for a patent in many countries (Member Countries of PCT) by filing single application to WIPO. Counties which the applicant intends to file national application later should he designated in the PCT application. PCT filing is a simpler procedure than making several applications in many countries. PCT application has the same effect as a national application filed in the designated countries (For more details log on to www.wipo.int)