India focus: The era of national IP policy

With 2010-2020 declared the ‘decade of innovation’, the Indian government has challenged itself to achieve not only growth, but inclusive growth, discuss Archana Shanker and Vidisha Garg.

To realise its vision, the government has roped in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which unveiled the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy earlier in 2016, and set up the National Innovation Council to road map policies to boost innovation in the country.

Start-ups have been envisaged as the epicenter of the invention revolution and India, as a first, has defined the‘start-up’: essentially new ventures with a small turnover, driven by the development and deployment of new and disrupting technologies. Incentives for start-ups have been given in the form of tax breaks, assistance from a governmental ‘fund of funds’, reduced fee for intellectual property and expedited patent filings.

The Indian Patent Office, having committed to receiving 1000 expedited applications every year, is gearing for this additional burden by recruiting controllers and examiners, organising training camps and seeking stakeholder responses on policy framework. In fact, the DIPP along with the Confederation of Indian Industry has been conducting roadshows to spread awareness about the new initiatives.

Recent policies also assuage concerns about the slow examination and disposal of patent applications, though are silent about the rejection of patent applications relating to pharmaceutical products under Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970.

This article was published in World Intellectual Property Review September 2016.

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