December 11, 2020

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), India conducted a virtual signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Intellectual Property Cooperation with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), United States of America on December 02, 2020. Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, DPIIT represented India at the ceremony, and Mr. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO represented USA at the ceremony.[1]


The new MoU signed ascribes for a range of cooperative activities between the two countries for a period of ten years, which would broadly pertain to securing, using and enforcing Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the areas of patents, industrial designs, trademarks, copyrights and even geographical indications. A previous MoU between the two countries expired ten years ago, in 2011.[2]

The present MoU envisions a two-pronged work plan, substantive and administrative. Within the substantive section, the two countries aim to jointly build capacity in all the intellectual property disciplines, while on the administrative side, the countries aim to exchange ideas and share experiences on how to efficiently manage operations of the national IP offices, including the use of tools to enhance productivity.[3]

As per the official website of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India, the new MoU aims at increasing IP cooperation between the two countries by way of:[4]

  1. Facilitating exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP between the public and industries, universities, R&D organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises, by way of participation in programs and events organized singly or jointly by said participants;
  2. Collaborating for training programs, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities;
  3. Exchanging information and best practices on processes for registration and examination of applications of all the IP disciplines, along with protecting, enforcing and using of said IP rights.
  4. Exchanging information on development and implementation of automation and modernization projects, new documentation and information systems in IP and procedures for management of IP office services.
  5. Cooperating to understand various issues related to traditional knowledge and the exchange of best practices, including those related to traditional knowledge databases and awareness raising on the use of existing IP systems for the protection of traditional knowledge.

All in all, the new MoU looks to go a long way in nurturing cooperation and exchange of IP-based knowledge between the two countries, by providing various opportunities to both countries to learn from each other’s experiences. As far as India is concerned, this acts as a boost in becoming a major player in global innovation, while also trying to achieve the objectives of the National IPR Policy of 2016.

[1] India, US sign MoU on increasing IP cooperation []

[2] India US ink MoU to cooperate on IP examination and protection []

[3] India US ink MoU to cooperate on IP examination and protection []

[4] India, USA sign MoU on Intellectual Property cooperation []

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