New IPR Policy: Civil Services Mentor Magazine: June - 2016

New IPR Policy

Creativity and innovation have been a constant in growth and development of any knowledge economy. Researchs show that countries which spend more on research and development get better rewards in their growth. Innovationa needs to be protected. On the other hand innovation should also be used for the purpose of human challenges. Any IPR policy should balance the above two objectives. An all-encompassing IPR Policy will promote a holistic and conducive ecosystem to catalyse the full potential of intellectual property for India's economic growth and socio-cultural development, while protecting public interest. Govt 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.

While India has always been an innovative society, much of the intellectual property (IP) created remains unprotected both on account of lack of awareness and the perception that IP protection is either not required or that the process to obtain it is unnecessarily complicated. The concrete measures taken by the Government in the last two decades in consonance with national development priorities and in conformity with international treaties, conventions and agreements to which India is a party has created and established a TRIPS compliant, robust, equitable and dynamic IPR regime. The continuous and unending improvements alongwith the sweeping and far-sighted changes at the legislative and administrative levels has resulted in strengthening the administration, management and enforcement of IPRs.

The statutes governing different kinds of IPRs in India are Patents Act, 1970; Trade Marks Act, 1999; Designs Act, 2000; Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999; Copyright Act, 1957; Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001; Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000 and Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

The rationale for the National IPR Policy lies in the need to create awareness about the importance of intellectual property rights (IPRs) as a marketable financial asset and economic tool. India has robust IP laws and a strong IP jurisprudence. 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. 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.

Important points in the New IPR Policy are given below.

IPR policy tries to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to by following two ways:

  • 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.

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