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IPR policy: Innovation gets a future roadmap

Cabinet has approved the national IPR policy that promotes creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Published: 14th May 2016 01:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2016 04:10 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: In a landmark move, the Cabinet has approved the national Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy that promotes creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The move comes weeks after the US retained India on its watch list citing inadequate IPR protection. In the past, the US Food and Drug Administration too beefed up scrutiny on Indian pharma companies for possible violations and slapped warning letters on some of the production units. “The policy aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of IP, statutes concerned and agencies,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here Friday.

Interestingly, among other things, it allows the window for trademark registration down to one month by 2017. It lays the future roadmap for IP, and puts in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review to incorporate global best practices.

“We do believe that the balancing act, which India has struck is responsible for life-saving drugs available at a reasonable cost in India compared to the rest of the world. So, our model seems to be both legal, equitable and WTO-compliant,” said Jaitley adding, “We must also be conscious of the need to make it available at a reasonable cost so that drug cost does not become prohibited as has become in some parts of the world.”

According to Nasscom, the single umbrella approach will help leverage linkages between various IP offices. “The proposed cell for IPR Promotion and Management to be constituted under the aegis of DIPP, would be an important connection with inventors and innovators,” it said.

Currently, companies face difficulties in monetizing intangibles like IPR and the policy attempts to address these concerns. Meanwhile, defending India’s stand, Jaitley said availability of medicines at reasonable cost is necessary, adding that the patent period beyond 20 years can be extended only if there is a fresh invention and not a marginalalteration. 

“So, ours is a very balanced approach, which I said balances it with consideration of ineventability innovation and public health consideration,” he said.

The developed countries have raised questions about section 3 (d) of the Indian Patent Act 1970 and compulsory licensing, saying the norms restrict innovation.

IPR POLICY OBJECTIVES

To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society. To stimulate the generation of IPRs. To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest. Management - To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.

Get value for IPRs through commercialization. To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements.To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.

‘Creative India: Innovative India’

The policy, with a tagline of ‘Creative India: Innovative India’, also calls for updating various IP laws, including the Indian Cinematography Act, to remove anomalies and inconsistencies in consultation with stakeholders.



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