Under the existing Intellectual Property (Rights) regime in India, thousands of promising innovations and inventions remain un-patented. The new Intellectual Property Rights policy plans to change that. The first draft of the (IPR) policy released on December 19, 2014, emphasizes on the need to formulate a new IP law to facilitate the patenting of various ground-breaking Indian inventions.
In November, 2014, the Government formed an IP think-tank under former IPAB (Intellectual Property Appellate Board) chairman justice, Prabha Sridevan, which also formulated the National Intellectual Property Rights policy. The think-tank is of the view that making the patenting process of promising technologies easier, would help India improve its score in annual Global Innovation Indices (GII). In the GII, 2014, jointly published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), India ranked 76th, slipping 10 positions from the 66th in 2013. The survey covered 143 countries and evaluated their innovation capabilities across 81 indicators. India’s (IPR) performance was the worst among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations, while China ranked 29th, was the best.
T C James, Director, National Intellectual Property Organization and former director at the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) observed, “An IP protection, which is different from the pure discovery patents as laid out in the current IPR law, would encourage utility-oriented research work and make a big impact in India’s innovation effort.” He added, ”Utility patents or protection of grassroots innovation have been an established system in many other countries, including developed economies as they form a key part of the scientific and economic development.”
The number of patent filings by Indians has remained low, in spite of a marked increase in the number of foreign patent filings in India. As per data obtained from the office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks, during 2002-2013, patent grants for foreign inventions increased by almost 300% compared to the grants to Indian inventions that grew by a mere 45%.
In order to increase the number of Indian filings, the new IPR Policy plans to come up with focused programs to encourage Indian innovators from R&D and technical institutions, universities and large, medium and small enterprises to generate and protect Intellectual Property (Rights).