New Delhi, Medicare News, May 15, 2016
The government has approved a new IPR policy that seeks to encourage innovation and improve access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection. The National Intellectual Property Rights Policy will allow compulsory licensing with restrictions in case of a public health emergency such as epidemics and it is compliant with the World Trade Organization’s guidelines, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday. “Every country is entitled to defend its economic i ..
Ours is a balanced approach, taking into account inventability, innovation and public health,” Jaitley told media persons. He was responding to question over concerns the US had raised over India’s IP laws. As per Section 3(d) of Indian Patent Act 1970 marginal alterations would not entitle a company to a new patent. “The policy recognises that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilising the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns,” an official statement said.
The government has also expanded the scope of the copyright law with the inclusion of music, cinema and industrial drawing, and made the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal ministry in the matter. “A IPR cell would be created in every govt dept and state govt to coordinate with DIPP for IPR policy implementation… Approval ..
The government has set a target to bring down trademark registration to one month by 2017. For the same, one of the objectives of the IPR policy is to “strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs”, the statement said. “It is a very progressive policy…the fact that government has said it would revisit IP laws is a good sign in these times of changing technology. Supporting the idea of clean and green technology from developed countries is good step,” said R Saha, advisor, IPR, at industry body Confederation of Indian Industry. India’s pharma industry while lauding the policy has expressed concerns over the likely changes to be made to the IPR regime in keeping with global trends.
DG Shah, secretary general at Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, said, “Unless the government is ready with funding and programmes to ensure access to medicine for all, any change in the legislative frame work would hurt not only the generic industry, but the people of India.”
Jaitley said the policy is fair and impartial. “We do believe that the balancing act which India has struck is responsible for life-saving drugs available at a reasonable cost in India compared to the rest of the world. So, our model seems to be both legal, equitable and WTO compliant,” he said. Some countries have raised questions about Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patent Act 1970 and compulsory licensing (CL). Defending Section 3 (d), Jaitley said patent period beyond 20 years could be extended only if there is a fresh invention and not a marginal alteration.