There has been a significant reduction in pendency of intellectual property applications, including patents and trademarks, with the adoption of the national IPR policy, a top government official has said. Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said that disposal of patent applications has increased sharply by 58 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to the previous fiscal.
Citing an example, he said, India has granted patent in just 113 days from the date of filing of the request for examination. Abhishek was speaking at the 58th Series of the Meetings of the General Assembly of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) on September 24 in Geneva.
“Since the adoption of the National IPR Policy in 2016, there has been considerable reduction in pendency of IP applications and increase in disposal and examination due to large-scale augmentation of manpower in Indian IP offices,” he has said. This policy was announced to incentivise entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and curb manufacturing and sale of counterfeits.
Usually, it takes about 6-7 years for grant of a patent. The DIPP is working to significantly cut this time. Grant of patent involves different stages of scrutiny and examination, including application filing, screening and classification, and request for examination.
The secretary said that pendency in trademark examination too has brought down from the 13 months to just one month.
“India has a well-established legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard intellectual property rights (IPRs), which meets its international obligations, while utilising the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns,” he said.
The secretary also called for applying rigorous definitions of invention and patentability to curtail evergreening of patents and ensure that patents are only awarded when genuine innovation has occurred. “In this regard, we would like to point out that the Indian Patent Law has sufficient safeguards to prevent evergreening,” he added.
Commenting about the importance of increasing IP awareness in India, he said the government has launched a nation-wide campaign in educational institutions and industry, including over the social media. IPR awareness programmes have been conducted in over a 100 schools till now, reaching over 10,000 students, he said, adding that over 32 training programmes have been conducted for police officials across various states.
Further, he said, India is looking forward to cooperate and work together on the issue of blocking of “rogue or copyright infringing websites”, which predominantly host pirated content. The secretary also highlighted that any legal instrument on genetic resources and traditional knowledge should factor in the principles of disclosure of source, prior informed consent and equitable access and benefit sharing based on mutually agreed terms. Intellectual Property helps in stimulating innovation, creativity and technological advancement. It enables countries to meet future challenges and allows industries to be differentiated and stand out amidst their peers.
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