Govt aims at plugging loopholes that enable copyright theft

NEW DELHI: The Government has approved an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy aimed at creating a strong legal framework to protect IPR and create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society.

Policy approved by the Union Cabinet has seven objectives which include IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion; Generation of IPRs; Legal and Legislative Framework; Administration and Management; Commercialization of IPRs; Enforcement and Adjudication; and Human Capital Development. The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy will endeavor for a “Creative India; Innovative India’.

The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelise these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.

The National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario. This policy shall weave in the strengths of the Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive environment, which stimulates creativity and innovation across sectors, as also facilitates a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.

The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns.  It reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.

While IPRs are becoming increasingly important in the global arena, there is a need to increase awareness on IPRs in India, be it regarding the IPRs owned by oneself or respect for others’ IPRs. The importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool also needs to be recognised. For this, domestic IP filings, as also commercialization of patents granted, need to increase. Innovation and sub-optimal spending on R&D too are issues to be addressed.

The broad contours of the National IPR Policy are a Vision Statement about an India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.

The aim is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to  foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development; and focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance.

The action by different ministries/ departments shall be monitored by The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) which shall be the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India.

Welcoming the policy, NASSCOM also appreciated the decision to hand over IPR to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. This single umbrella approach will help leverage linkages between various IP offices. The proposed Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) to be constituted under the aegis of DIPP, would be an important connection with the inventors and innovators.

NASSCOM had in its interaction with the think tank highlighted  difficulties that companies face in monetizing intangibles like IPR and the proposal to create a ‘simple loan guarantee scheme to encourage start-ups’ based on IPRs as mortgage-able assets; financial support and securitization of IP rights for commercialization by enabling valuation of IP rights as intangible assets. 

NASSCOM said the IT industry is committed to partner with the DIPP in the modernization efforts. Further, Periodic reviews and updates of  IP related rules, guidelines, procedures will ensure an effective IPR regime and NASSCOM is committed to work closely with the DIPP as the policy is implemented to support an innovation led Industry in India. 

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