Intellectual property rights refer to the general term for the assignment of property rights through patents, copyrights, and trademarks. However, there are some intellectual property rights issues that Indian government need to address. The main purpose of intellectual property is to give protection and encourage research innovation. India has been very progressive over the last two decades in the formulation of a strong intellectual property rights policy. For instance, India became a signatory of the TRIPS (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Rights) agreement in the year 1995. We will discuss the challenges and issues that India is facing in offering IP rights to the companies.
Intellectual Property Rights Issues: The Five Major Challenges Faced
There are many intellectual property rights issues that one faces while getting IP rights in India. So, getting IP rights in India has become a matter of contention and stakeholders are optimistic about India addressing these issues. There are many challenges and issues that India needs to address to maximize the profits of the companies. The issues are as follows:
Patent Evergreening Prevention:
One of the most important intellectual property rights issues challenges is the prevention of the evergreening of the patents for multinational companies. As we know, the companies cannot evergreen their patents simply by making minor changes. So, section 3(d) in the Indian Patent Act (IPA) possess as one of the biggest issues with regards to IPR. This act bars the grant of patents to new forms of substances.
Subsidies & IPR Issues:
The government provides subsidies to people especially farmers to reduce their burden. A major form of subsidies includes food subsidy, fertilizer subsidy, education subsidy, etc. However, for the complete implementation of TRIPS agreements, one needs to reduce or eliminate these subsidies. Thus, the Indian government needs to create a balance between providing subsidies and providing IP rights in India.
The Product Patents Process:
A product patent protects a product. It offers high protection to the original inventor to reduce the competition for the same product. Whereas, a process patent protects the process through which one manufactures the product and not the product. It reduces the element of monopoly in the market. As India is a part of the TRIPS agreement, the agreement requires all its members to shift their patent regime from process to product patent.
This remains a challenge for India, as process patent would be more helpful to a country like India. This is due to the fact that India is a developing country and ordinary people are struggling with basic necessities like food.
Protecting traditional knowledge:
Traditional knowledge, especially in the field of medicine, is like a gold mine. The Indian government is bound to protect the traditional knowledge by not allowing MNC’s to get patents on the traditional culture. Above all, the government has created a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) to prevent the patenting of traditional knowledge. So, this is one of the intellectual property rights issues in India.
Compulsory Licensing & Drug Price Control Order:
One of the most important intellectual property rights issues that the government needs to address is the use of compulsory licensing. It’s a relaxation available to the developing countries under the TRIPS agreement, something which organizations misuse sometimes. Moreover, under section 84 of the IPA, a company can acquire a compulsory license for “private commercial use” under certain circumstances.
With the Drug Price Control Order, the company needs to justify the price of the drug with regards to investments. If someone plays foul, then the government has the right to intervene. Multinationals are asking the government to revoke this provision. However, the government is not ceding the demands to protect the interest of the masses.
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Getting and enforcing IP rights in India is a complex process which involves plenty of clauses and provisions. Thus, it is important to invest wisely and foresee risks. You might require professional help while filing patents and protecting IP rights. Your Patent Team can help you in your journey from ideating to protecting IPs. YPT is a team of 225+ technology/industry experts who speak the inventor’s language and have a deep understanding of Indian Patent Laws. We can help you secure IP rights for your invention in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Our job is not limited to securing IP rights. We will assist you with the enforcement of those rights as well. To avail our services, visit Your Patent Team.