Amid the United States Trade Representative (USTR) launching a review of India’s IPR regime, an inter-ministerial group formed on intellectual property (IP) is scheduled to meet next week to finalise the broad contours of the proposed IPR policy in India.
Earlier last month, commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that India will have a policy on intellectual property rights (IPR) for protecting its interests in the field. An inter-ministerial group (IMG) has been formed under Sitharaman and includes 7-8 departments like telecom, information and broadcasting and IT.
“We are looking at commercialisation of IP in many fields along with modernisation. Further, we want to create awareness among people about the patents and copyright issues,” an official told The Indian Express.
Commercialisation of patented inventions, the official said, has been something in which India has been lagging behind. Commercialisation can be done by starting inventor’s own manufacturing facility; licensing the rights; selling the patent rights or all these of these put together.
Though the Patent Office in India does not play a role in commercialisation, it disseminates the related information, thereby helping in attracting potential user or licensee.
“We have different intellectual property policy for different departments, for instance, we have a separate policy for IP of semiconductors and telecom. The proposed policy will bring the directional change in all these policies, making them stronger. The IMG will meet to discuss how best to reap benefits and utilise flexibilities under WTO’s trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS),” the official said.
India has been under pressure from the developed countries, mainly the US, regarding its IPR regime, more so in the pharma sector.
The official added that through the policy, India is aiming at branding itself as the pro-IP regime, especially in view of the recent ‘Make in India’ campaign, where the country has urged global manufacturers to set up bases here. In absence of a clear policy, there is a thinking that investors may shy away from coming to the country on the apprehensions that it may lead to an erosion or dilution of their valuable IPR.