Engineer teaches students to leave mark on their inventions

PUBLISH DATE 30th July 2018

A year ago, when Dnyaneshwar Kamble, a city-based engineer working at a software firm, learnt that departments at the University of Mumbai (MU) did not file a single patent in 2015-16, he was flummoxed.

The number of patents serves as an important indicator of research activity at an institute. When he studied the problem, he realised that most students in the city are unaware of intellectual property rights (IPR) and hence failed to file patents for their research work.

Kamble, who is also a board member of the Mumbai chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) — an international association of engineers — took it upon himself to educate students in the city about IPR and patenting and help them in claiming ownership of their academic research. “Students don’t know that once they write a research paper and present it in public, they can no longer claim its intellectual rights,” he said.

Urged by Kamble and his team, several engineering colleges in the city have now started helping their students file patents for their academic projects.

In 2016, Thakur College of Engineering and Technology (TCET), Kandivali, started an IPR cell, and last year, four of its post-graduation and PhD students filed patents (this year there were 11). The college bore the cost of patenting. “Students present their project to us and we decide if it’s patentable. We also interact with the industry to commercialise them ,” said Vinit Dongre, head of electronics and telecommunication department at TCET.

Sumit Kushwaha, a TCET student, filed a patent for a radar-system technology to accurately measure levels of liquid in large containers. “Our proposed technology is different from others in the market,” he said.

Vidyavardhini’s College of Engineering and Technology (VCET), Vasai, is also helping students on similar lines. Prashant Sathe, a recent graduate from VCET, filed a patent for an automated pressure cooker whistle a year ago. “After filing a patent, the invention becomes your property, like any other property,” he said.

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