Gov to formulate IPR policy, set up think tank: Nirmala Sitharaman
New Delhi (8th Sept, 2014): The government will come out with a policy on intellectual property rights and set up a think tank on IPR to strengthen the country's patent regime and encourage innovation.
"India does not have an IPR policy. This is the first time we are coming out with an IPR policy. IPR policy issues have been hanging for quite a long time," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told.
When asked about the timeline for the new policy, she said it may take about six months.
The IPR policy also assumes significance in view of the issues being raised by developed countries such as the US.
Sitharaman said all the countries have IPR policy and hence it is imperative for India to have one.
"It will give direction in terms of protecting IPR of India on which several issues are there. With the US, we have (certain) issues... India has become a brand in terms of pharma... We are very strong in IPR and we certainly want to protect our interest," she said.
The ministry will also soon have a think tank that will enable it to handle the IPR issues more firmly, she added. "We are going to have the benefit of experts (of the think-tank), who will constantly keep us informed about developments on international IPR issues, flag off concerns..."
The think tank will have about 15-20 members on the IPR including professors, end-users and legal experts.
The IPR policy will help modernise IP administration and offices; commercialisation of IP; collaboration between different departments including science and technology; encourage innovation and enhance domestic filing of patents.
Sitharaman said the policy will also help in dealing with issues being raised by developed nations and protect interest of India on IPR related matters.
Developed nations are picking holes in India's IPR laws because it does not have any policy, she said.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will put the draft policy on the website for public comments before finalising the policy.
"India has a well established legal framework for IPR but its important to spell out policy. In the next 2-3 months, we will discuss and debate in country," DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said.
During the recent times, the Obama administration has been strongly criticising India's investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceuticals and the solar sectors.
India has maintained that its IPR regime is fully compliant with WTO laws and it will not take part in any unilateral investigations by the US on the matter.