INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Right (IPR) is a colloquial that hardly needs an introduction. IP encourages creators and innovators to invest in their ideas. The one and all, who are engaged in scientific area either from institutes or industries, are discussing about significance of protecting their discoveries to yield the commercial potential. Each of the IP i.e. Patent, Copyright, Trademark, Trade secret, Industrial Design, Geographical Indication has a specific way of protecting its commercial values.
IPR has two faces – on one side it protects the right of intellectuals and eventually promotes their new creations or inventions, while on the other side it promotes monopoly of the creator also. However, we need to look upon how we can generate more useful “Intellectual Property’ so that protecting it becomes more worthwhile.
Bearing in mind, the growing need of understanding IP amongst the different stakeholders of the society, Govt. of India, introduced “National IPR policy” in the month of May, 2016. The National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. This policy binds the strengths of Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders to stimulate the IP environment in the country.
This led to the certain IP reforms in the country, Apart from the increase in various filings i.e.
• Domestic filing of patents applications was 29.2% in 2016-17 as compared to 28% in the previous year,
• Trademark Pendency reduced from 14 months to less than 1 month
• Design Pendency reduced from 8 months in March 2016 to one month in March 2017.
• 575 GI Applications as on March 31, 2017.
Also, the steps towards the digitalization and technological development i.e. facility of e-filing, dispatching of examination reports via email, allow hearing via video-conferencing etc. are also undertaken. Also, during the year 2016-17, the online filing increased to 90% in patents and 80% in trademarks.
One of the reason, for India emerging as a dominant player in the world economy, is the continuous reforms in IP system which includes the IPR enforcement Toolkit for Police, Establishment of IP crime units, SIPP scheme for startups, IP awareness programs by Government etc. The business transactions like Joint Ventures, Partnerships, Acquisitions, Franchising and Trademark Licensing now days involve Intellectual Properties as a heart of such transactions. Hence, existence of a business without Intellectual Property is incoherent.
Recently, India’s cabinet approved the country’s accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (the WIPO internet treaties). These treaties would provide more protection to the works of copyright owners, actors, singers, musicians and sound recorders in the internet and digital environment granting them exclusive economic and publishing rights.
Thus, IPR acts as a strategic tool for achieving competitive advantage in one’s own industry. India has been consistently climbing the Global Innovation index(GII) , its rank has improved from 60th position last year to 57th this year.
*This article is based on author’s thoughts. However, the statistics data are taken from Annual Report published by CGPDTM