Inventor in Oscar-Winning doc: “Students should learn the significance of patents and IP Rights”

Top-Fifty member of the Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders,” Arunachalam Muruganantham, inventor of an inexpensive machine that make sanitary pads for women, says students need to know more about the impact of IP rights on individuals and society. 

The hero of the Oscar-winning documentary Period. End of Sentence invented a machine that turns cellulose into low-cost sanitary napkins­—a boon in India, where brand-name pads are prohibitively costly in a nation struggling with poverty (the movie trailer can be seen here.). (Netflix subscribers can see the full film, here. The Academy Award acceptance speech is here.)

Each machine converts roughly 3,000 women to pad usage—and the freedom of movement that comes with it—and provides jobs for 10 more women.

Inventor Arunachalam Muruganantham encourages students about IP awareness

106 Nations

Mr. Muruganantham’s machines are installed in 23 or 29 states in India and in 15 other countries, with the intention of empowering rural women. He is currently planning to expand the production of the machines to 106 nations. “Since the machine is in the public domain, I will give the rights to the machine users now. Usually, those who get patent rights will try to sell it or get a license. I want to give back to society to empower women,” he told The Hindu.

The 59-year old entrepreneur pointed out the need to create awareness among youngsters about intellectual property rights, including patents. “Students should learn and understand the significance of patents and IPR to an individual and society,” he said.

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