India-IP Regime – UPSC GS3

  • Pending Patent applications were 2.37 lakh on February 1, 2016
  • Pending Trademark registrations were 5.44 lakh
  • Shortage of manpower
  • About 58 per cent of software installed in computers in India in 2015 was unlicensed
India’s current IP regime:
  1. IP in India is regulated by several laws, rules and regulations under the jurisdiction of different ministries/departments.
  2. Clauses in the Patents Act of 2005 provide for a high standard of patentability, allows for compulsory licensing provisions and pre- and post-grant objection to patents. Not all of these are in tune with established international best practices.
  3. Enforcement environment remains challenging with high levels of physical and online piracy
However, patent laws in India are compliant with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Importance of a strong IP regime to India’s economy:
  1. IP has direct bearing on FDI in research and technology oriented sectors. This would in turn increase economic growth, entrepreneurship, productivity, access to technology and productive employment.
  2. Less than 50,000 patent applications are filed every year in India. India attracts only 2.7 per cent of global R&D spend. Some analysts attribute this to India’s IP regime.
  3. It would foster innovation and creativity in our knowledge economy
Changes required in India’s IP regime:
  1. While India’s IP laws are robust, there is a need to review IP-related rules for better enforcement- especially to prevent and punish piracy
  2. Need for uniformity and harmonization in the IP policies to improve predictability, transparency and effective implementation
  3. Need for setting up patent benches in high courts for fast enforcement. Setting up of commercial courts is a welcome step in this direction.
  4. Spread more awareness among people regarding benefits of IP rights.
Additional information: According to GIPC ( Global Intellectual Property Center), economies with robust and higher IP protection have 50 per cent more innovative output and are 40 per cent more likely to invest in research and development.
Statutes governing different kinds of IP in India are the:
  1. Trade Marks Act, 1999,
  2. Patents Act, 1970,
  3. Copyright Act, 1957,
  4. Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection), 1999,
  5. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001,
  6. Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
Nodal department for trademarks, patents, designs and geographical indications is the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), which functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; copyright is administered by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, plant varieties and farmers’ rights is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture; and biological diversity is administered by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The ‘Make in India’ vision cannot survive in the long-term without concrete measures to build a concurrent ‘Create in India’ movement.]
Recent  steps:
  • In a bid to allay concerns of foreign investors regarding the country’s intellectual property regime and bring in transparency, the government has initiated online filing of patent and trademark application while sensitising people about IPR infringement.
  • In its annual special 301 report 2015 the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) rapped India’s IP regime, raising concerns against Section 3(d) of India’s Patent Act. Report maintained India in its Priority Watch List.
  • Commerce  & Industry Ministry has appointed a 6-member IPR think tank to formulate a comprehensive national IPR Policy.
  • Government has released Indian Intellectual Property (IP) Panorama to increase awareness and build sensitivity towards IP in the SME sector, academia and researchers. The IP Panorma is a single window interface for information on IP and guidance on leveraging it for competitive advantage
  • Government has launched Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement Toolkit for Police. This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation to assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.
  • Faster Patent Approvals : The government is taking measures to reduce the time to examine patent applications for clearing them at the earliest.
  • Now the time is between 5 and 7 years for the first examination of patent applications. The target is to bring it down to 18 months, which is the benchmark in the U.S. for the first examination after the applications are filed
Why patent approval time should be reduced
  • Businesses can make timely decisions
  • Business can raise benefits early and get a boost for innovation
  • The product should not get obsolete before the time the patent is granted
Related Questions:
  • To realize the twin dreams of ‘Innovate in India’ and ‘Make in India’, the government needs to build a competitive, thriving environment by prioritizing scientific research with a strong intellectual property (IP) system. In the light of the statement critically analyse nature of India’s present IP regime, the changes it requires and its importance to India’s economy. (200 Words)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top