Moneycontrol
May 13, 2016 08:50 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Cabinet approves national IPR policy, DIPP to be nodal agency

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) will be the nodal department to co-ordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPR’s in India.

The Cabinet has given its nod to the national Intellectual Property Right (IPR) policy, saying it endeavours to ring in a “Creative India; Innovative India”.

Through this policy, the government aims to lay the roadmap for intellectual property (IP) in the country, recognise innovative energies, exploit synergies between all forms of IP, create awareness on benefits of IP, and enhance access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among others.The policy also emphasizes the importance of development of human capital.

Starting 2017, trademark registration will take only one month.

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) will be the nodal department to co-ordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPR’s in India.  Copyright laws will also be administered by DIPP Instead of HRD ministry.   

Reacting to this, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said, considering the start-up community in India is thriving, this is a welcome move. She said the country has a good track record on licensing and should take care that innovators are not put at loss.

Below is the verbatim transcript of Mazumdar Shaw and Srivastava's interview with Shereen Bhan and Surabhi Upadhyay on CNBC-TV18.

Surabhi: Your thoughts on the new IPR regime that India is all set to usher in?

Mazumdar Shaw: This was an anticipated IPR policy, which the prime minister has referred to several times and this was really about reinforcing India’s stand in terms of The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which is really about recognising genuine patents, but ensuring that we do not give cognisance to frivolous patents, so it’s really about ensuring that inventors and innovators’ IP is protected but at the same time making sure that we do not get into ever-greening of patents, frivolous patents that given an unsaid and unlevel playing fields to people who are innovating. It’s a good and welcome announcement, India needs define its profile in terms of intellectual property as it gets ready to beat an innovator so with the start up community being thriving these are important legislations.

Shereen: We don’t have the specifics yet because we haven’t heard from the government on the specifics of policy, but we do know what the government was proposing in its draft policy and that of course was open for public consumption. Now on that crucial issue of either ever-greening or compulsory licensing, our understanding is that the government has stood its ground has stood firm. There are murmurs though coming in from the US that perhaps there could be some convergence between the US position and India’s position. What is your take on whether or not we could see any changes as far as compulsory licensing or the ever-greening regime is concerned?

Mazumdar Shaw: I think India has stood its ground on ever-greening and we must stand our ground on ever-greening that’s what I was referring to a frivolous patent and on the compulsory licensing, India has had a very good track record in terms of compulsory licensing. Our IPR policy is completely TRIPS compliant and that’s the stand that India wishes to take. We are certainly going to respect IP and genuine IP which will greatly benefit innovators and start-ups on the other hand we must make sure that we don’t put our own innovators at risk by getting into patenting demands that really will get people squatting on patents and not really allowing the free use of domain, public domain knowledge.

Shereen: We are still awaiting details from the government in terms of what possible sweeteners by way of tax incentives could be offered, the draft policy has spoken of tax incentives for commercialisation of IP as well as to foster R&D, but what would your take be what would industry like we heard the government in the budget talk about the patent box, what is it that you would like to see by way of details?

Mazumdar Shaw: Well patent box regime was certainly one positive step in this direction, but when you look at incentivising intellectual property and IPD and innovation, you really need to make sure that that you need to recognise the fact that innovation is an expensive process and bringing products to the market from an idea to the market is also a very long and expensive process, so there needs to be some understanding of linking incentives with the gestational timelines involved in taking innovation to the market and let’s not sort of jump the gun there’s lot to be done but having said that the fact that we are bringing focus on to IPR and the IPR policy will allow the National Institution for Transforming India Aayog (NITI Aayog) and others to basically come out with relevant and pragmatic incentives that will really kick start the innovation engine of India.

Shereen: We are still awaiting the fine prints of the IPR policy, but the cabinet has cleared the national IPR policy. We have of course seen the draft which has been around for the last 6 odd months for public consumption. What would your take be?

Srivastava: It’s a welcome move I appreciate at least this bill give a good protection to the people who have done lot of work, they have spent their time, money, energy and research gets periods because as mentioned a very long period. What has happen that number of such research and developments has been done by experts, but it has not reached up to the market for 2-3 reasons, one that industry expects the expenditure on research and development should be incentivised more by the government one, two whenever any product is developed or technology is developed more important thing what is the mechanism of awareness because it become very difficult for him to make it known to everybody and unless that awareness drive is made this part is missing which I feel should get few place in this provision.

Shereen: Now the government clarifying that there will be no change in law, so which pretty much means that we are standing firm on that controversial clause 3D. The government is also saying that the copyright laws will now be administered by the DIPP instead of the HRD ministry and that the trademark registration will take only one month starting 2017. Your fresh comments on the back of what I have just told you?

Mazumdar Shaw: Both are very, very welcome move because trademarks and copyrights are really trade issues and bringing it under DIPP is the right thing to do and it’s very welcome that online registrations of trademarks is really going to make business much easier, so it all heading in the right direction, I really welcome this news I congratulate the government for really being bold sticking to their ground and coming up with a very TRIPS compliant and very credible IPR policy for the country. I think this will really raise our stature in the realm of innovation.

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