The Indian Cabinet on April 13, 2016 passed India’s first National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy in a bid to promote IP regime and encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in India. The policy is a vision document that seeks to provide stronger safeguard to IPR in India. By virtue of this policy, from now onwards there will be a proper institutional mechanism in place that will help in incorporating global best practices in the India economy.
The primary objective of the policy is to put in place a legal framework that will encourage the IPR regime and substantially reduce the time taken by the governmental agency to approve a trademark to as less as a month by 2017. The nodal agency for regulating IP rights in the country will be the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The new policy lays down seven basic objectives –
IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion – To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of the society.
It aims to have a nationwide program of promotion with an aim to improve the awareness about the benefits of IPR’s and their value to the rights-holders and the public. Such a kind of program will build an atmosphere where creativity and innovation are encouraged in public and private sectors, R&D centers, industry and academia, leading to generation of protectable IP that can be commercialized. Additionally, it proposes the need to open a national research institute for IPR, to increase outreach.
Generation of IPRs – To stimulate Indians to generate material for intellectual property protection.
It recognizes the large talent pool that the country has, and a need to tap this fertile knowledge resource and stimulate the creation of IP assets. It recommends a comprehensive baseline survey or IP audit across sectors that will enable assessment and evaluation of the potential in specific sectors.
Legal and Legislative Framework – To have strong and effective laws that balances the interests of rights owners with lager public interest.
The existing IP laws in India was either enacted or revised after the TRIPS Agreement and are fully compliant with it. These laws along with various judicial decisions provide for a stable and effective legal framework for protection and promotion of IPRs. It provides for renewed commitment to the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.
Administration and Management – To have a modern and service-oriented administration
The offices that administer the different Intellectual Property Rights are the cornerstone of an efficient and balanced IPR system. IPRs now have the twin challenges of making their operations more efficient, streamlined and Cost effective. The administration if the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000 is being brought under the aegis of DIPP, besides constituting a Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM). It will facilitate more effective and synergetic working between various IP offices, as also promotion, creation and commercialization of IP assets.
Commercialization of IPR – Create value from protected innovations through commercialization.
The value and economic reward for the owners of IP rights comes only from their commercialization. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged so that the financial value of IPRs can be captured. It is necessary to connect investors and IP creators. Another constraint faced is valuation of IP and assessment of the potential of the IPRs for the purpose of marketing it.
Enforcement and Adjudication – To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringement.
The need to build respect for IPR among the general public and to sensitize the inventors and creators of IP on measures for protection and enforcement of their rights. At the same time, there is also a need to build the capacity of the enforcement agencies at various levels, including strengthening of IPR cells in State police forces.
Human Capital Development – To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, research and skill building in IPRs.
In order to harness the full potential of IPRs for economic growth, it is essential to develop an increasing pool of IPR professionals and experts in spheres such as policy and law, strategy development, administration and enforcement.