Trade-Related Intellectual Property (TRIP) is a standard framework system for IP rights all over the world. It is a branch of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for resolving Intellectual Property issues in India and worldwide. Every related member must follow the TRIP regulations in their domestic IP laws.
Thus, after joining the WTO, India also made the required changes in its IP regime.
In 1995, India signed for the TRIP and WTO provided a time period of 10 years to impose the rules, as India was a developing country. Here, 5 years was the compulsory time period and another 5 years was the extension.
However, there were many problems to resolve in 2005 even after India aligned the IP rights according to TRIP. To extract maximum benefits India needed more efficient Trading strategies.
Current Intellectual Property Issues in India
At present, India still deals with Intellectual property issues even after amending the IP rights according to TRIP. Some of the most important Intellectual Property issues that India is facing are explained below:
Process Patents to Product Patents
The TRIP agreement requires all the company members to change their patent regime from Process Patent to Product Patent. The Process Patent protects the processes while the Product Patent protects the products. It is a controversial point when it comes to obtaining IP rights on food products and pharmaceuticals.
India follows an assorted development model that maintains harmony between Socialism and Capitalism. This method preserves the interest of normal people those struggle for the basic needs of medicines and food. However, Developed countries blame countries like Brazil and India of being biased for granting patents to food companies and pharmaceuticals.
SECTION 3-D (Indian Patent Act)
Section 3D of the Indian Patent Act prevents multinational companies to renew the time period of their patents by just adding some minor changes. According to the Court, the companies must show significant Therapeutic Efficiency in order to get patent protection for previous patents. Section 3D was implemented to challenge Novartis Glevac drug patent.
Mandatory licensing allows the government of India to ask the companies to produce some drugs in bulk and that too without considering the patent holder. This is generally done in emergency situations. However, the multinational companies do not support this decision of the government. This is so because they find it very opportunistic, but the Indian Government is stiff on the decision to protect the mass interest.
Control in the Drug Price
This provision disables any company to charge unfair prices for the medicines or drugs that they are producing. The companies can only charge the prices which are legal and justified on behalf of the investment. Moreover, the government has the right to take actions, if anyone tries to disobey the rules.
The domestic support scheme of India is the minimum support price for big agricultural commodities and input subsidies for the farmer are manure, seed, etc. However, for the total implementation of the TRIP agreement, one must reduce or even eliminate these subsidies. Thus, the Indian Government is facing problems in creating harmony between food securities and IP rights.
Community Property Rights & IPR
Conventional knowledge provides a head start to pharmaceutical companies. Indian government must protect the precious source of conventional knowledge by rejecting patents of multinational companies on conventional culture. Thus, the Indian government created the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) to avoid patenting conventional Indian tradition. However, developed countries and multinational companies are opposing the decision.
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