IPR Reforms : Key Issues

IPR Reforms: Key Issues

Question : It has been a decade since India amended the Indian Patents Act, 1970 to agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Discuss the key issues involved in IPR reform in India.

• Most important amendments of the Indian Patents Act pertain to products patented for 20 years; this include pharmaceutical products

• Repeated attempts by the USTR have been made to counter alleged weakness in the patent regime of India

• China and India are among the 13 nations named on priority list for IPR weakness in diverse areas including publishing, pharma and IT

• India was not designated a priority watch country which means there is no recourse to penal action
• IPR policy needs to protect Indian strengths and be in tune with international standards

• An integrated policy with a balanced approach is needed calling for legislative changes to keep pace with tech and economic developments

• IPR challenges need to be met through political action and diplomacy

• Finance and a well functioning patent office are other key issues in reform of IPR regime in India

• Initially USTR has taken a hard stance with an out of cycle review but India’s commitments in recent years have won over this world body

• Comprehensive and strong IPR reform is needed to bring India in line with the modern world

• Embracing the free market can open up India’s chances of a strong IP regime

Facts and Stats

• India will attract foreign investment and innovative technologies if it has a strong IP regime

• USTR also earlier refused to remove India from the 2014 priority watch list but recently praised India’s efforts to:

- Institutionalise engagement on IP issues
- Pursue specific work program
- Deepen cooperation with US on IP related issues
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