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India, Denmark sign MoU on Intellectual Property cooperation

28th September, 2020 Economy

Context: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in the field of Intellectual Property Cooperation with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Kingdom of Denmark.

The MoU aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of:

  1. a) Exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among public, authorities, businesses and research and educational institution of both countries.
  2. b) Collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities.
  3. c) Exchange of information and best practices on processes for disposal of applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and Geographical Indications, as also the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights.
  4. d) Cooperation in the development of automation and implementation of modernization projects, new documentation and information systems in IP and procedures for management of IP.
  5. e) Cooperation to understand how Traditional Knowledge is protected; including the use of traditional knowledge related databases and awareness raising of existing IP systems.
  • The two sides will draw up Biennial Work Plan to implement the MoU which will include the detailed planning for carrying out of the co-operation activities, including the scope of action.
  • It will be a landmark step forward in India’s journey towards becoming a major player in global innovation and further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016.

The new Intellectual Property Policy,

  • The Policy is in compliance with WTO's (World Trade Organisation) agreement on TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of IPRs) and aims to sustain entrepreneurship and boost 'Make in India.'
  • Highlights of the scheme:

>> The Policy aims to push IPRs as a marketable financial asset, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, while protecting public interest.

>>The plan will be reviewed every five years in consultation with stakeholders.

>> In order to have strong and effective IPR laws, steps would be taken — including review of existing IP laws — to update and improve them or to remove anomalies and inconsistencies.

>>The policy is entirely compliant with the WTO’s agreement on TRIPS.

>>Special thrust on awareness generation and effective enforcement of IPRs, besides encouragement of IP commercialization through various incentives.

>> India will engage constructively in the negotiation of international treaties and agreements in consultation with stakeholders.

>> It suggests making the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal agency for all IPR issues. Copyrights related issues will also come under DIPP’s ambit from that of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.

>> Trademark offices have been modernized, and the aim is to reduce the time taken for examination and registration to just 1 month by 2017.

>> Films, music, industrial drawings will be all covered by copyright.

>> The Policy also seeks to facilitate domestic IPR filings, for the entire value chain from IPR generation to commercialization. It aims to promote research and development through tax benefits.

>> Proposal to create an effective loan guarantee scheme to encourage start-ups.

>> “India will continue to utilize the legislative space and flexibilities available in international treaties and the TRIPS Agreement.” These flexibilities include the sovereign right of countries to use provisions such as Section 3(d) and CLs for ensuring the availability of essential and life-saving drugs at affordable prices.

>> The policy left the country’s patent laws intact and specifically did not open up Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, which sets the standard for what is considered an invention in India, for reinterpretation.

>>On compulsory licensing (CL), India has issued only CL for a cancer drug. As per the WTO norms, a CL can be invoked by a government allowing a company to produce a patented product without the consent of the patent owner in public interest. Under the Indian Patents Act, a CL can be issued for a drug if the medicine is deemed unaffordable, among other conditions, and the government grants permission to qualified generic drug makers to manufacture it.

>> The IPR policy favored the government considering financial support for a limited period on sale and export of products based on IPRs generated from public-funded research.