Friday, May 13, 2016

Indian Cabinet approves National Intellectual Property Rights Policy | "Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत"

Cabinet approves National Intellectual Property Rights Policy

"Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत"



The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy that will lay the future roadmap for intellectual property in India. The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelise these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.


The National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario. This policy shall weave in the strengths of the Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive environment, which stimulates creativity and innovation across sectors, as also facilitates a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.


The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns.  It reiterates India's commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.


While IPRs are becoming increasingly important in the global arena, there is a need to increase awareness on IPRs in India, be it regarding the IPRs owned by oneself or respect for others' IPRs. The importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool also needs to be recognised. For this, domestic IP filings, as also commercialization of patents granted, need to increase. Innovation and sub-optimal spending on R&D too are issues to be addressed.


The broad contours of the National IPR Policy are as follows:


Vision Statement: An India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.


Mission Statement:


Stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to:

  • foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development, and
  • focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance.




The Policy lays down the following seven objectives:

  •         i. IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion - To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society.
  •       ii. Generation of IPRs - To stimulate the generation of IPRs.
  •     iii. Legal and Legislative Framework - To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.
  •     iv. Administration and Management - To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.
  •      v. Commercialization of IPRs - Get value for IPRs through commercialization.
  •     vi. Enforcement and Adjudication - To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.
  •   vii. Human Capital Development - To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.


These objectives are sought to be achieved through detailed action points. The action by different Ministries/ Departments shall be monitored by DIPP which shall be the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India.


The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy will endeavor for a "Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत".





Cabinet decision: Intellectual Property Rights policy cleared; sops for R&D, startups

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: May 14, 2016 | India's IPR policies are WTO-compliant, FM said in reply to concerns by developed nations on Section 3(D). The policy suggests making the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal point coordinate for IPRs in India.

The government on Friday unveiled the national intellectual property rights (IPR) policy to create a larger institutional framework to strengthen the IPR regime, with the slogan "Creative India, Innovative India". While the policy focuses on issues like expediting approval processes involving patents or trademarks and consolidating institutional mechanisms to create a robust IPR ecosystem, it refrains from suggesting any change to contentious provisions in the Patents Act, 1970, including Section 3(d) and compulsory licensing, despite concerns expressed by the US and pharma companies.
Nevertheless, the policy provides for constructive engagement "in the negotiation of international treaties and agreements in consultation with stakeholders" and likely accession to some multilateral treaties that are in India's interest. It also suggests tax incentives to boost R&D and the creation of a loan guarantee scheme to encourage start-ups and cover the risk of genuine failures in commercialisation based on IPRs as mortgageable assets.
The policy suggests making the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal point coordinate for IPRs in India, even though the onus of actual implementation of the plans of action will be on the ministries/departments concerned in their sphere of work. So, for instance, the administration of the Copyright Act, 1957 (now under the department of higher education) and the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000 (under the department of electronics and information technology) will be brought under the DIPP.
This, it is believed, will lead "to synergetic linkage between various IP offices under one umbrella". Interestingly, it seeks to protect traditional systems like Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy — be it in oral or in codified form — from misappropriation, and also curb film piracy by suitably amending the Indian Cinematography Act, 1952.
Announcing the approval to the policy by the Cabinet, finance minister Arun Jaitley stressed that India's IPR policies are WTO-compliant. He added that one must encourage invention of life-saving drugs and at the same time "we must also be conscious of the need to make it available at a reasonable cost so that drug cost does not become prohibitive as has become in some parts of the world"
Responding to concerns expressed by developed countries like the US on Section 3(D) and compulsory licensing, Jaitley said: "We do believe that the balancing act which India has struck is responsible for lifesaving drugs available at a reasonable cost in India… So, our model seems to be both legal, equitable and WTO-compliant."
Section 3(d) prevents evergreening of drug patents. Apart from novelty and inventive step, the section provides for improvement in therapeutic efficacy a necessary condition for grant of patents when it comes to incremental inventions. Compulsory licensing allows domestic players to produce cheaper versions of patented drugs. The US and the EU have been pushing India to make appropriate changes to these provisions to boost innovation, R&D and foreign investment. Recently, releasing its annual 301 report, the US retained India on its priority watch list, citing "lack of sufficient measurable improvements" to the IP framework despite robust engagement and positive steps on intellectual property protection and enforcement by the Indian government in the last two years.
The finance minister said by 2017, trademarks can be registered within a month. Currently, in some cases, this process takes even a few years. FE

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