IPR

National IPR Policy: A Complete Guide

calendar24 Apr, 2020
timeReading Time: 8 Minutes
National IPR Policy

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are rights which are provided to an individual or an organization relating to specific invention or innovation in processes or products for a certain time period. IPR exists in the form of Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights, Geographical Indications, Industrial Design, etc. In the year 1994, the members of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) signed the TRIPS, which lead to the establishment of global standards for IPR. Later on, certain Acts came into force to meet the IPR needs of the common people in India. However, the results of these Acts were not satisfactory, and the Government came up with National IPR Policy. The Policy was aimed to help the common people understand the IPR better. In this article, we will discuss the National IPR Policy of India.  

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

IPR intends to boost creativity, innovation, invention, and enable access to knowledge in order to achieve social and economic welfare in the country. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are rights assigned to the inventors of Intellectual Property (individuals or organizations) regarding the exclusive use of Property. There are different forms of Intellectual Property Rights in India. The TRIPS Agreement of WTO categorizes Intellectual Property Rights as follows:

  • Copyright and its Related Rights
  • Trademarks, including the Service Marks
  • Geographical Indications (GI)
  • Industrial Designs
  • Patents

What is the National IPR Policy?

The members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the year 1994, signed the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), for establishing global standards for the Intellectual Property Rights. After signing TRIPS, India established the Patent’s Act, 1970[1], under which the Patent system functions in the country along with the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. India has based the patent law on the twin principles. The principles are encouraging the protection of IPR and safeguarding the public interest. However, the reputation of India with regard to enforcing and recognizing Intellectual Property Rights was not satisfactory.

In the International IP Index 2015 released by the Global IP Chamber of the US Chamber of Commerce, India was ranked 29th out of 30 countries. India was also in the ‘priority watch list’ in the report released by the USTR (US Trade Representatives). Hence, in the light of such developments, the Government of India adopted an approach to draw a roadmap relating to the Intellectual Property Rights of the country. To improve the investment climate, promote invention, and facilitate commercial exploitation of Intellectual Properties, the National IPR Policy was introduced.  

The National IPR Policy recognizes the plenty of innovation and creative energies flowing in India, and grave need to knock into and do the channelization of the energies towards a brighter and better future of all in the country. The IPR Policy is a document of vision that aims to create and exploit collaborations between different forms of Intellectual Properties, and the Acts and Agencies concerning these Intellectual Properties. An institutional mechanism for implementation, review, and monitoring of the ongoing processes related to IPRs in the country are set in place by the National IPR Policy.

The Policy aimed at weaving the strengths of the Research and Developments Organizations, Government, Corporate Entities, Educational Institutions, and other participants in the Creation of innovation-favorable environment. The weaving of strengths will stimulate innovation and creativity across all the sectors. Hence, it will facilitate a transparent, stable, and service-oriented administration of IPR in the country.           

The National IPR Policy identifies that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant statutory, administrative and judicial outline to safeguard the Intellectual Property Rights of country. Hence, such compliance with the TRIPS encounters the international requirements of India while utilizing the elasticities provided in the global regime to address the developmental concerns of the country.  It restates the commitment of India to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement. While IPRs are becoming progressively significant in the worldwide arena, there is a necessity to increase the awareness on Intellectual Property Rights in India, be it concerning the IPRs owned by a person himself/herself or in respect of others’ IPRs.

The broad outlines of the National IPR Policy are as follows:

  • Vision Statement of IPR Policy

The vision statement of the IPR Policy is primarily to encourage a country India, where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit and betterment of all. India is a country where Intellectual Property encourages development in science and technology, traditional knowledge, arts and culture, and biodiversity resources and India as a country where knowledge is the key driver of growth, and knowledge owned is changed into knowledge shared.

  • Mission Statement of IPR Policy

The mission statement of the IPR Policy is to stimulate a vibrant, dynamic and balanced Intellectual Property Rights system in the country India:

  • for fostering creativity and innovation and thus, encourage entrepreneurship and enhance cultural and socio-economic expansion and;
  • to focus on enhancing access to food security, health care, and environmental protection, among other sectors which have vital economic, social, and technological importance.

Read our article:Grounds for the Refusal of the Trademark Registration

What are the objectives of the National IPR Policy?

The main objectives of the National IPR Policy are as follows:

objectives of the National IPR Policy

IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion

  • The National IPR Policy is introduced to create public awareness about the social, cultural, and cultural benefits of Intellectual Property Rights among each section of the society.
  • A launch of a nation-wide awareness program is needed to improve the awareness about the benefits of the IPRs. Such a nation-wide program will increase creativity and innovation in private and public sectors, academia and industry, R&D centers, and will lead to the generation of protected Intellectual Property, which can be commercialized later on.
  • There is also a vital need to reach the remote areas where they are less-visible generators and holders of Intellectual Property

Generation of Intellectual Property Rights

  • To stimulate IPRs generation on a large scale in the country. 
  • India is a large talent pool of scientific and technological talent that is spread over R&D institutions, universities, enterprises, and technical institutes. To stimulate the IP assets creation, there is an urgent need to tap this fertile knowledge resource. An IP audit or comprehensive survey across sectors will help to enable assessment and evaluation of the potential in specific sectors, and hence formulation and implementation of the targeted programs will be more comfortable.
  • The main focus will be placed on facilitating innovators and researchers regarding the areas of national priority in the country. The encouragement of the corporate sector is also needed for the generation and utilization of IPRs.
  • Certain steps are also required to be taken to devise some mechanisms to make available the benefits of the IPR regime to all inventors, especially MSMEs, Grassroot innovators, and start-ups.

 Legislative and Legal Framework

  • To have strong and effective IPR laws in the country to maintain a balance among the owner’s interest with the public interest at large.
  • After the TRIPS agreement, the existing Intellectual Property laws in India were either enacted or revised to get in full compliance with the agreement. The IP laws, along with several judicial decisions of courts, provide a stable and effective legal framework for the promotion and protection of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • India should continue to be committed to the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. India, at the same time, is also rich in traditional medicinal knowledge, which is existing in diverse forms in the country, and the knowledge is primarily essential. It should be protected from any misappropriation of the knowledge.

Administration and Management

  • To strengthen and start-up service-oriented administration of IPRs.
  • The Offices which do the administration of the different Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) should be the basis of an effective and stable IPR system in the country.
  • Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs) are now having twin challenges, i.e., making the operations of IPOs more effective, updated and cost-effective, with the expansion of workload and technical complication on the one hand, and enhance the user-friendliness of IPOs by providing and developing value-added services to the user community on the other.

Commercialization of IPRs

  • Getting value for IPRs through commercialization.
  • The value and economic reward for the originators, owners or inventors of Intellectual Property Rights comes only by the commercialization of IPRs.
  • Encouragement of entrepreneurship should be there to capture the financial value of IPRs. It is very necessary to have a connection between the investors and creators of IP.
  • To do the valuation of IP and assessment of the potential of IPRs for the purpose of marketing is another constraint that is faced in the country. Some efforts should be made to connect creators and innovators to the potential buyers, users, and funding institutions by creating a public platform for the same.

Enforcement and Adjudication

  • For opposing IPR Infringement, the strengthening of the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanism is needed in the country.
  • For IPR, there is a need to build respect among the common public.  The inventors and creators of IP should be informed about measures for protection and enforcement of their IP Rights.
  • Furthermore, there is also a requirement to build the needed capacity of the enforcement agencies at various levels in the country, which also includes the strengthening of IPR cells in State Police Forces.
  • Measures to check counterfeiting and piracy should also be identified and undertaken.
  • For effective adjudication of disputes related to IPR, certain regular IPR workshops/colloquia for judges should be done. For adjudication of IPR disputes, it is desirable to be done through specialized commercial courts. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism also can be explored.

Human Capital Development

  • For teaching, research, training, and skill-building in IPRs, there is a need to strengthen and expand the capacities, institutions, and human resources for the same.
  • In order to harness the overall potential of Intellectual Property Rights for economic growth, there is an essential to grow an increasing pool of IPR experts in domains such as Policy and law, administration, enforcement, and strategy development. Such a pool of experts will enable the increase in the generation of IP assets in the country and the utilization of IP assets for development purposes.

Why is a National IPR Policy needed?

The importance of the National IPR Policy can be seen through certain Judicial Decisions given by the Indian Courts.

In the case of G. Sundarrajan v. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. [(2013) 6SCC620], the court permitted the setting up of nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in the State of Tamil Nadu (TN), grounding the decision on the reasoning that the Parliament of India had announced its National IPR Policy through the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the setting up of the reactor in the nuclear plant was in consonance with the IPR policy.

The Apex Court held on the grounds of implementation of the IPR Policy of India that unless in conflict with the Constitution of India, the courts cannot evaluate the sense of the regulation or decision of the Central Government of India about the IPR Policy related matters.

Hence, it is clearly demonstrated that the policies are like guidelines in accordance to which the Government of India frames its laws, rules, or take strict actions on a national level. The national policies are also vital in outlining the vision, intent, and structure of the applicable laws for making representations to other states and hence, develop the law in accordance with the proposed national Policy.

The need for a National IPR Policy in India is more appropriately reflected in the Objective of the Policy drafted by the previous committee. The draft of the National Policy stated that the Policy is essential to identify universal core principles that will enable the nation to negotiate with foreign trading partners and support the protection, administration, and implementation of current Intellectual Property norms of the country. Furthermore, the IPR Policy will allow the framing of new rules or alter the existing rules-based on observed evidences in India. However, the present IPR Policy of India appears to rely on the word “IP” being identical with the term “innovation.”

Conclusion

The new IPR Policy truly recognizes the rising importance of Intellectual Property in India. the Policy also intends to tackle several IPR conflicts happening during the stages of generation, protection, and commercialization of Intellectual Properties (IPs). Furthermore, the Policy also endeavors to address the loopholes in the existing framework and take the necessary steps to balance the interests of the rights of individuals with the public interest of the country.

A strict application of the National IPR Policy should be there to maintain a balance between the public interest and the private rights of individuals or organizations. Hence, to ease the services related to IPR, IPR Policy is introduced. We at Corpbiz have experienced professionals to guide you with the services related to Intellectual Property Rights. Our professional will help and assist you with your work-related to IPR services. The professionals will ensure the timely and successful completion of your work. 

Read our article: Different IP Rights in India: A Complete Checklist

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