Friday, May 13, 2016

Cabinet Approves The Draft National IPR Policy Of India

Indian government has been preparing the draft national IPR policy of India for some time. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has suggested that the proposed IPR policy of India must be techno legal in nature. P4LO has also provided its suggestions regarding the proposed Trade Marks Rules 2015 of India whereby we have suggested (pdf) for establishment of a strong and efficient trademark regime in India. The crux of all these discussions is that the proposed IPR policy of India must be technology driven and beneficial to small and medium enterprises, e-commerce players and entrepreneurs.

It has now been reported that the Cabinet has approved the national intellectual property rights (IPR) policy with a view to promoting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The aim is to create awareness about economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday while briefing reporters about Thursday's Cabinet decisions. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be the nodal department to co-ordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPR’s in India.

The minister also said that by 2017, the window for trademark registration will be brought down to one month. This means that starting 2017, trademark registration will take only one month. P4LO's suggestion number (11) on the proposed trademark rules recommended this requirement. We suggested that the proposed rule is a golden opportunity for the Indian Government/Registrar to speed up the trademark registration procedure that is suffering from backlog as on date.

We also recommend that the Registrar must not "discriminate" between those applicants who have paid additional fees for expedition and those who have applied through normal course of action. If the Registrar discriminates between those who have paying capacity and those who do not have such capacity, it would unnecessarily create hindrances before the small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. Indian government seems to have accepted these suggestions of P4LO.

According to Jaitley, there are seven objectives that guided the policy mechanism, which include IPR public awareness, stimulation of generation of IPRs, need for strong and effective laws and strengthening enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms to combat infringements. The policy also puts a premium on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection. It is expected to lay the future road map for intellectual property in India, besides putting in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review.

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.