Government of India has announced that copyright and semiconductors are to be brought under the ambit of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The news was revealed by DIPP, Joint Secretary, Rajiv Aggarwal at a seminar on ‘Managing Copyright in Publishing’ organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with the department and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on March 31, 2016.
The move of shifting copyright from the Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) and semiconductors from the purview of the Department of Information Technology is being touted as a welcome development by many. The transfer has the consequence of consolidating all IP related functions in one body, with the hope of reducing turf wars between different departments with regard to jurisdiction and uniformity in decision making at national and international levels. The DIPP is already administering the Patents Act, 1970, The Trade Marks Act, 1999, The Designs Act, 2000 and the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 and also matters pertaining to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization.
It remains to be seen that the underlying objective behind the department re-shuffling is successfully achieved and till then, the universal truth remains that the DIPP has now become an all-powerful body, covering almost all species of IP laws in India.