Terming the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy as “a great step forward for India”, the Commerce and Industry Minister also said it would help in creating capacities and institutions to further enhance the robustness of India’s IPR regime.
“The policy envisages building capacities, institutions and awareness. It will encourage research and development for greater innovation and also look at traditional knowledge systems. So this is a policy, which is going to drive all these steps,” Sitharaman said.
Talking about steps to reduce pendency of applications, she said the ministry is recruiting people and giving them training and modernising offices.
The total number of patent applications and trademark registration requests pending as on February 1 were 2,37,029 and 5,44,171, respectively.
The registration time for IPRs like trademarks “will come to in line with what is happening around the globe. So our waiting list will not be longer than the waiting list abroad”.
“We have taken adequate steps to reduce the waiting list,” she added.
Sitharaman said the policy is aimed at making India’s IPR regime far more vibrant. “We want more innovation, R&D (research and development) and commercial use of trademarks and other IPRs.”
The government has announced the comprehensive national IPR policy with a tagline of ‘Creative India, Innovative India’ to incentivise entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and curb manufacturing and sale of counterfeits.
The seven objectives of the policy include stimulation of generation of IPRs, need for strong and effective laws and strengthening enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms to combat infringements.
The policy seeks to promote R&D through tax benefits available under various laws and simplification of procedures for availing of direct and indirect tax benefits.
Increasing awareness about IPR will help in building an atmosphere where creativity and innovation are encouraged, leading to generation of protectable IP that can be commercialised.
Bringing the Copyright Act and the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) would benefit industry and individuals, Sitharaman said.
“… commercial importance (of IPRs) will be better affected when it is under one roof and particularly with the ministry which is so oriented for promotion of such activities,” the minister added.