Intellectual Property holds great prominence in any form of innovation. This is very critical aspect for every industry segment, and so as for the SME segment. Considering this criticality, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has constituted an IPR Think Tank to draft the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy and to advice the Department on IPR issues.
The IPR Think Tank will comprise of Justice Prabha Sridevan (Chairperson); Advocate, Singh and Singh Associates, Pratibha Singh (member); Advocate, Inventure IP, Punita Bhargava (member); Dr. Unnat Pandit of Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited (member); Director, Asian School of Business, Thiruvananthapuram, Rajeev Srinivasan (member); and Retired DDG, WIPO, Narendra K. Sabarwal (Member and Convener). This was informed in an official notification issued by the Ministry.
Last month, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a significant announcement that India would have a National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy which will not be restrictive but promote national interest.
“India has well-established IPR laws, but it is important to spell it out in the form of a policy for the entire world to see,” Sitharaman mentioned, adding that the soon to come IPR policy will safeguard the country’s interests and bring clarity to existing laws.
According to media reports, developed countries, particularly the US, have been critical of India’s intellectual property laws, even as the US has been threatening to downgrade India’s intellectual property environment in an out-of-cycle review. On the other hand, India has maintained that its laws are consistent with WTO rules.
Among the duties of the IPR Think Tank will be – to draft National Intellectual Property Rights Policy; identify areas in the IPRs where study needs to be conducted and to furnish recommendations in this regard to the Ministry; and to provide views on the possible implications of demands placed by the negotiating partners.
It will also keep the Government regularly informed about the developments taking place in IPR cases which have an impact upon India’s IPR Policy; and advise on best practices to be followed in Trademark Offices, Patent Offices and other Government Offices dealing with IPR in order to create an efficient and transparent system of functioning in the said offices.
Significantly, it will prepare periodic reports on best practice followed in foreign countries; and at the same time highlight anomalies in the present IPR legislations and to advice possible solutions to the Ministry.
Further, with a view to improving infrastructure in IP offices and Tribunals, it will give suggestions on the steps that can be taken.
Finally, it will examine the current issues raised by industry associations and those that may have appeared in media and give suggestions to the Ministry on such issues.