India launches new IPR policy

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Announcing a comprehensive National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy to incentivise entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, India said on May 13 that its IPR laws are WTO-compliant.

The new law will also help in curbing the manufacturing and sale of counterfeits. India has been under pressure from western countries to amend its IPR policy. The announcement comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to the US in June.

With the tagline ‘Creative India: Innovative India’, the new policy also calls for updating various intellectual property laws such as the Indian Cinematography Act, which will remove the anomalies after holding consultation with the stakeholders.

“The aim is to create awareness about economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society … The policy aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of IP, statutes concerned and agencies,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while briefing the media about the Cabinet decision.
Emphasising on trademark, Mr Jaitley said that the registration process will be reduced to one month by 2017.

Listing out seven objectives of the policy, he said that it includes IPR awareness, stimulation of generation of IPRs, need for strong and effective laws and strengthening enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms to combat infringements.

Aiming to bring more transparency, the new policy seeks to promote R&D through tax benefits available under various laws and the simplification of procedures for availing direct and indirect tax benefits. The latest IPR policy calls for providing financial support to less empowered groups such as farmers, weavers and artisans through financial institutions like rural banks or co-operative banks offering IP-friendly loans.

India Inc hails new policy

Hailing the new policy initiatives, India Inc expressed optimism after the government’s latest move. The new policy would strengthen the pharma industry. “It is a very progressive policy … The fact that the government has said it would revisit IP laws is a good sign in these times of changing technology.  Supporting the idea of clean and green technology from developed countries is good step,” R Saha, advisor, IPR at the Confederation of Indian Industries said.

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