India’s First Intellectual Property Rights Policy Unveiled With 7 Core Objectives

Intellectual Property

Definition: Intellectual property rights are like any other property right. They allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to benefit from their own work or investment in a creation. (WIPO: World Intellectual Property Recognition)

For the first time in the history of Independent India, Government has unveiled a comprehensive “Intellectual Property Rights Policy” which aims to recognize the ‘abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India’, and channelize these energies for making India a progressive country.

Late last week, Union Cabinet approved Intellectual Property Rights Policy with a vision statement, mission statement and 7 core objectives of the entire framework.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while speaking with media, said that right now, it takes years to get a trademark of any firm registered. However, with this new policy, trademarks and intellectual rights can be registered online, and within few weeks. Infact, by the time 2017 starts, an idea or a concept can be registered within a month.

Using the new IPR Policy, any Indian can protect their own products of ‘human intelligence’ using copyrights, patents and trademarks. IPR Policy approved by GoI will now cover cinema, music, industrial designs and publishing industry.

Here are the 7 core objectives of the new IPR Policy:

  • Create public awareness about economic, social and cultural benefits of Intellectual Rights
  • To generate more Intellectual Properties inside India
  • To create and implement a robust legal and legislative framework; creation of solid IPR Laws which help creators of such Intellectual properties
  • To modernize and create a technology oriented administration and service framework for IPR
  • Creation of enforcement and adjudicatory mechanism for ‘combating IPR infringements’
  • To start a revolution of IP creations by teaching, training and research aid for skill building in this niche

Will Intellectual Property Rights Policy Hinder Medical Research?

Although the industry in general has vehemently approved and appreciated the new IPR policy, there is a segment within medical research which feels that the new IPR Policy can hinder new research.

As per the analysts, although the new IPR Policy framework is robust, the Govt. didn’t open up Section 3(D) of the Patents Act. This section sets the standard for inventions happening inside India. In the absence of any new law, inventions happening inside India may still be copied and the creator cannot take any action.

Further, as per the notification issued for the new IPR Policy, India will follow and confirm Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement. This, can be another hurdle in breakthrough research as Govt. will allow patent of a medical product which is slightly modified than the original; and there is no requirement to take consent of the original creator as well.

Ms. Leena Menghaney, IP law expert and Access Campaigner at humanitarian aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said, “With so much focus on turning all knowledge into patentable property, the big weakness in the document is that it is pitting innovation against access. There is no clarity in the section pertaining to commitment to Doha Declaration..”, adding, “It is like saying that we reserve the right to give compulsory licences. But what is the point of reserving that right, if we are never actually going to issue licences because of pressure from the industry. “

The new IPR Policy has been written under the vision of “Creative India; Innovative India: ???????? ????; ????? ????”. Finer details of the crucial issues like Doha Agreement and Section 3(D) are yet to be announced.

We will keep you updated as more details come in.

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