Mr. T.C. JAMES, Director, Intellectual Property Rights Division made a representation on “National Strategies and Policies for Innovation"

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland had organized Colloquium on selected patent issues on 2nd July 2007.  Mr. Francis Gurry, Deputy Director General PCT and Patents, Arbitration and Mediation Center, and Global Intellectual Property Issues, welcomed and presented opening address.

“National Strategies and Policies for Innovation" was the theme. LIU Jian, Division Director, International Cooperation Department, State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Beijing, China represented China.

Mr. T.C. JAMES, Director, Intellectual Property Rights Division, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry represented India. His current charge includes law and policy relating to Patents, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications of Goods, and matters connected with WIPO besides general policy and strategies in the area of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

In his presentation, Mr. James introduce explained India has  strong IPR Regime.  He explained the four important areas of Indian IPR which needs attention are to meet international obligations, to protect the rights of IP holders and also safeguard public interest, to Modernise the IPR administration and create awareness about IPRs.

He explained that in India both product and process patent are provided. The Patent term is of 20 years. There is examination on request. There is pre-grant and post-grant opposition facility. There is a system of fast track mechanism for disposal of appeals. There is also a provision for protection of bio-diversity and traditional knowledge. There is provision for publication of publications after 18 months with facility for early publication.

He further explained that IPR aims at Public Interest Safeguards in the Patents Act. There is provision for Compulsory license to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable prices. And also provision to deal with public health emergency. Revocation of patent in public interest and security must be taken into consideration.

He explained how Copyright Act, protects literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings and cinematograph films, Computer programs protected as literary works. The term of Protection is 60 years. There is provision for collective administration societies. There is also facility for Voluntary registration facility, Copyright Board to hear appeals. Thus Public interest is safeguarded through fair use the above provisions.

He further expressed the need of International Cooperation for Improving IP Administration. This can be done with Cooperation with WIPO, EU-India Technology and Investment Development Programme, Bilateral Agreements signed with UK Patent Office, France European Patent Office  USPTO and  Japan Patent Office.

The main elements of the Cooperation are capacity building, Human Resource Development, Public awareness programs, Development of IP profession, Joint studies and research and Exchange of experience in the area of protection of traditional knowledge.

In his conclusion he said that IPRs have to viewed, not as a self-contained and distinct domain, but rather as an effective policy instrument that would be relevant to wide ranging socio-ecommonic, technological and political concepts. An effective and efficient IP system, including the administration, encourages creative and innovative activities and also promotes transfer of technology. IPRs are essential components of the strategy to promote innovation Challenge is to evolve an IP strategy which serves as an effective mechanism for promoting innovation and creativity. Sensitisation and awareness creation of stake-holders is the major task ahead. Thus INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS not a CHOICE but a NECESSITY