P. T. JYOTHI DATTA for Business Line
Close to 10 years after the Indian Patents Act was amended in January 2005, discussions around intellectual property are on the boil again.
Last week, the Government set up a think tank to draft a national policy on intellectual property rights (IPR), and have a coordinated IP approach across various Government departments.
And while this is an opportunity for India to counter criticism from some global quarters on its IP enforcement track-record, the discussion is not without its concerns. From the composition of the think-tank to concerns on whether features in the amended Patents Act would be watered-down – questions abound. And transparency will be key, as the Government formulates its IP road-map and the think tank begins its meetings, the first of which is expected this week.
With Prime Minister Modi’s agenda of “make in India” as the canvas, the thrust will be on spurring innovation at home. While none may disagree with this, the challenge will be in protecting innovator rights, without for instance, whittling down public health concerns of citizens.
IP think tank member, senior advocate Pratibha Singh says, they would work as a support group, so the Government can have a coordinated approach and encourage more people to innovate and produce in India. Beyond this, the aim is to produce a single document outlining India’s IP achievements. These range from documenting measures taken involving online copyrights to communicating outcomes where foreign companies have in fact got injunctions in their favour.