A strong IPR regime in the country is crucial for its industrial and socio-economic growth, expanding scientific and technological domain, Ease of Doing Business and also for attracting new investments.
India is the largest democracy in the world and hence, its aspirations to safeguard public interest in the face of industrial and technological growth occupies the centre stage. IPR regime in a broad sense addresses generation, protection, management of IPR, enforcement including dispute resolution, antipiracy and anti-counterfeiting measures, using them as an asset for economic and financial transactions and making India stand in good stead in the comity of nations in terms of fair and competitive business, multilateral trade negotiations and evolving global platforms for promoting international understanding to benefit all nations, particularly the developing and the least developing ones.
One can view the IPR regime from the following perspectives:
IP contributes to national GDP and generation of employment as supported by many global studies.
Based on studies on the copyright industry from about 45 countries, the World Intellectual Property Organization found that it contributes approximately 2 – 10 percent to the GDP and 5.34 percent to national employment creation. (Ref: WIPO Guide on surveying the economic contribution of the copyright industries, 2015) An OECD study titled, ‘Policy Complements to the Strengthening of IPRs in Developing Countries, 2010’ reveals that (i) 1% increase in trademark protection increases FDI by 3.8%, (ii) 1% improvement in patent protection increases FDI by 2.8% and (iii) 1% improvement in copyright protection increases FDI by 6.8%. (https://doi.org/10.1787/5km7fmwz85d4-en)
Ease of Doing Business
Establishing an environment conducive to Ease of Doing Business both by domestic and foreign companies is essential for attracting investments in trade and commerce. India has improved its world ranking in this regard in the past few years. The role of IPR is undisputed in this aspect. The important elements would include ensuring fair competition, easier transaction of IPR, removing piracy and counterfeiting and quick resolution of disputes.
Dispute Resolution in IPR related Cases
India has a strong, reliable, and fair legal system and courts have reinforced this fact in cases of IPR. Commercial courts were introduced some time back but at the state level, their functioning needs to be improved to check counterfeiting and piracy of goods. There is a need for establishing alternate dispute resolution (ADR) for IPR cases and mediation cells in courts to help small and medium enterprises including start-ups to resolve disputes quickly and economically.
Protection of Rights of Creators
Protection of IPR is the most important link in the value chain of the IPR regime in the country in addition to awareness on IPR across the sectors. There are several dimensions of this element, namely,
A strong IPR regime is considered important in meeting the challenges posed by Industry 4.0, the next era of industrial practices. Technology transfers from domestic and foreign industries and organizations will be enabled through such a regime for sustainable development. ‘Make in India’, ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and similar initiatives of the Government would be strengthened and accelerated by a strong IPR regime in the country.
The article by Dr Ramesh Datla, Chairman, CII National Committee on IPR and Executive Chairman, ELICO Ltd, first appeared in the February 2022 issue of CII Policy Watch. Click here to read.