Role of a Strong IP Regime in Aiding Economic Development

A strong intellectual property regime is essential for any country’s economic growth. Not only does it aid in scientific and technological advancements, but it also makes the economy attractive for foreign investments by ensuring predictability of business climate, ease of doing business and security of intellectual assets of prospective investors.

A strong IPR regime focuses on generation and management of IP rights on one hand while also lays emphasis on strict enforcement of these rights on the other hand. A strong and balanced IP enforcement policy lays impetus on anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy measures while actively aiding in identification of IP infringement, providing injunctive reliefs, and enabling quick dispute resolutions. These policies aid in improving the image of a country in terms of fair and competitive business practices which helps in multilateral trade negotiations.


A research paper published by OECD in 2010, concerning economic development, policy reforms and intellectual property rights in developing countries notes that the results point to a tendency for IPR reform to deliver positive economic results. Reforms concerning patent protection have tended to deliver the most substantial results, but the results for copyright reform and trademark reform were also positive and significant. Overall, the policy complements that were found to be most important in facilitating positive results were those related to inputs for innovative and productive processes and to the ability to conduct business. This study states that a 1% improvement in trademark protection positively impacts the FDI by 3.8%; a 1% increase in patent protection positively impacts the FDI by 2.8%; and a similar 1% increase in copyright protection also impacts the FDI by 6.8%. WIPO also conducted a study on copyright protection in 45 countries and the study concludes that copyright industry contributes between 2 – 10% towards the GDP and 5.34% towards employment creation in the nation.

Policies & Regime

Indian government and judiciary are sensitized towards protection of IP rights. The Union Cabinet approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy on 12th May, 2016 which lays the future roadmap for IPRs in India. The initiative envisioned an India where creativity and innovation would be incentivised by IPR for the benefit of all. Some Indian courts, like Delhi High Court, also have a dedicated judge for handling cases related to IPR disputes. Creating mediation cells in courts for IPR cases and alternate dispute resolution mechanisms would further strengthen our IPR enforcement and would enable quick resolution of pending matters.

In India, a few small changes in existing IPR regime could strengthen IP protection further for rights holders. We could introduce new laws, where required. We could also amend some existing laws to fully comply with TRIPS (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization). Lastly, we can continue to overhaul our IP prosecution and examination system to further reduce the time taken to prosecute applications and make the system more efficient.

A strong IP regime in India would enable more technology transfer and investments in our economy. It would also equip the economy to deal with the new challenges posted by ever evolving industrial dynamics and lead us towards sustainable economic growth.

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