1st August 2016 Delhi, India
Dismantling India’s National IP Policy
India’s first National Intellectual Property Policy is a comprehensive vision document that aspires for an India where “creativity and innovation are stimulated by IP for the benefit of all”. Not enforceable in courts of law in itself, it will guide future policy-making on everything intellectual property related in India.
It sets out 7 objectives, and several steps to achieve them. The objectives range from generating IP awareness, and stimulating IP generation and commercialisation; to strengthening the IP legal, administrative and enforcement systems. They cover everything that one would expect from a nation wanting to build a holistic IP regime.
Digging deeper, however, one would notice that there is still some way to go in fleshing out how, and more importantly by when, the objectives are going to be achieved. The government still has to come up with specific timelines within which the steps have to be carried out; and also has to assign responsibility to the various authorities working in the IP sphere to carry out the steps.
If we discount the fact that UK business would have liked to see a little more detail on issues like data protection, the “working requirement” for compulsory licensing, or what qualifies for ever-greening of patents and what doesn’t; we should focus on the positive. The announcement of the Policy is a clear indication that India is keen to make the IP environment more conducive for business. Measures like making the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion responsible for all IP policy-making (including copyrights) evidences an intention to cut bureaucracy and make decision making consistent and aligned with business interests. Further, the stress on awareness activities and more efficient administration of IP registration processes should bear positive dividends in the coming years.
For a more detailed, blow-by-blow analysis of the Policy, you can watch my webinar on UK India Business Council’s website.