“Creative India – Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत”, is what the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, endeavours to do, and to channelize the abundant creative and innovative energies that flow in India, towards a better and brighter future for all. Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) in its fifth annual index 2017, released recently takes pride in reporting that more than half of countries raised their overall scores from last year. As per the report America is No. 1 overall but slipped to fifth place in the enforcement category. The 2017 index rankings reveal that India continues to lag behind the rest of the world in IP protection, coming in at 43rd place out of 45 countries. Although it has slightly improved its ranking as compared to the last four years’ index, as it remained at the bottom of the index for four years in a row and in 2016 index India was ranked 37 out of 38 countries, with only Venezuela scoring lower than it.
Intellectual Property (IP) is a set of laws that protect creative and innovative products through legal rights called patents, copyrights, and trademarks. It is also described as property that is a product of the mind or a product of intellectual capital. While the source, goals, and forms of IP are different, they can all be seen as protecting and encouraging creative efforts.
A copyright protects creative expression, a patent protects a new invention, and a trademark identifies and distinguishes the source of goods of one party from another. IP encourages new works and new products by protecting the ability of creators and innovators to make a living from those new works and products. IP is the promise that those who combine the spark of imagination with the grit and determination to see their vision become reality in books, technology, medicines, designs, sculpture, services, and more will have opportunities to reap the benefits of their innovation.
The National IPR Policy aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario. This policy shall weave in the strengths of the Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive environment, which stimulates creativity and innovation across sectors, as also facilitates a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.
The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns.
While IPRs are becoming increasingly important in the global arena, there is a need to increase awareness on IPRs in India, be it regarding the IPRs owned by one-self or respect for others’ IPRs. The importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool also needs to be recognised. For this, domestic IP filings, as also commercialization of patents granted, need to increase. Innovation and sub-optimal spending on R&D too are issues to be addressed.
India is transforming and has the potential to become a leader among innovative economies, driven by knowledge, science, technology and creativity. India must invest in strong IP systems to harness this potential and nurture the roots of Innovation. The strong IP systems of the country would deliver the legal certainty that enable risk and stimulate an innovative economy and result in more robust business environments and greater access to venture capital, foreign direct investment and high-value jobs. A system that embraces robust IP protection will incentive innovators to continue developing the next groundbreaking technologies and will place India on the path to becoming one of the world’s leading knowledge-based economies. It will enable Citizens reap the benefits of more clinical research, experience greater industrial growth and gain access to more licensed music outlets and other creative content.
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