Protecting Intellectual Property-India

The significance of the intellectual property in India is well established at all levels- statutory, organisational and judicial. India affirmed the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO). This Agreement, inter-alia, contains an Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which came into force on 1st January 1995.

IPR is already a part of the strategic options in the knowledge industry. To ensure sustained growth, enhanced profits and market leadership, many corporations have designed their project management system. As technology explores new dimensions and undiscovered paths in the coming decades, IPR is assumed to be in more conducive forms to encourage innovation and knowledge sharing in a fiercely competitive network.

Developments Over the Last Decade

An examination cooperation programme for patent applications between the patent offices of two countries that allows a patent applicant to request an accelerated examination of its application pending before the second office or office of later examination (OLE) if a corresponding application has been found to be patentable by the first office or office of earlier examination (OEE)

The IPO has released a new Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure (MPPP). The manual has been prepared after taking into consideration stakeholders’ inputs on the draft manual published in March 2019.

In December 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and DPIIT signed a Memorandum of Understanding relating to IP technical cooperation mechanisms and the promotion of IP, guided by a biennial work plan.

The Union Budget of 2021-2022 was historical with the allocation of ₹50,000 Crores into the National Research Foundation (NRF) over the next 5 years.

In July 2018, India’s first-ever SEP decision was issued by the High Court of Delhi in two joint (comparable) disputes, Koninklijke Philips v. Rajesh Bansal and Koninklijke Philips v. Bhagirathi Electronics.

To give a stimulate to the ‘Make in India’ policy, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) granted the free access to Indian industry for the patents held for technologies developed by it, boosting indigenous production.

In 2018, Government of India assembled an inter-ministerial group to examine reinstating royalty hats for all technology collaborations and brand licensing, limiting the amount of foreign exchange that can exit the country.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry has further amended the Patents Rules, 2003, in a notification dated September 23, 2021, to be called Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which prescribes the fees for the grant of patents to applicants.

In June 2019, DPIIT issued a public notice along with a draft guideline for comments from stakeholders (within 30 days) on the peppy tagline “Invaluable Treasure of Incredible India” and a common tri-color logo for GI certified products

Recently, the Indian courts have ruled that the provision against anti-competitive practices in the competition act and the provision of compulsory licensing in the patent act do not exclude each other; in fact, they have to be read conjunctly.

Section 10 of the Act states that a trademark can be limited to a particular colour or combinations of colours to allow by the law to register one colour or combination of colour as a trademark for identifying the origin of the goods or services.

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