Opportune time for a National IPR policy

The US Chamber of Commerce’s International IP index for 2015, ranks India second from the bottom among the 38 countries ranked. Its ranking is better than only Venezuela’s. It is also miles behind the rest of the BRIC countries, where Russia leads, followed by China and Brazil.

It was thus an opportune time for the Government of India to make India’s intellectual property rights regime more robust. The cabinet green flagged the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy during the last week. 

The policy's stated vision as follows:
“An India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.”

The policy follows the formation of a National IPR think tank in October 2014, which had the specific purpose of creating an umbrella IPR policy. Subsequently, the think tank submitted its draft policy later in the year. The key objectives of the policy are:

-  Creation of public awareness about economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all Indians.
-    Encourage generation of IPRs
-   Develop strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest as well as combat IPR infringements.
-    Modernisation and strengthening of the IPR administration.
-    Value creation from IPRs through commercialization.
-  Strengthening and expansion of human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.

There are numerous benefits of having a robust IPR policy. The US Chamber of Commerce, in its report on the IPR rankings mentions the following key benefits:

-   Robust IP regimes are more likely to attract venture capital and private equity funding. 
-   Favorable IP protection on average creates 2.5 times more research and development (R&D)-focused personnel within workforces.
-Economies with robust IPs have 45% higher Standard and Poor’s credit rating than others.
-It increases inventive capacity in the economy, with the top 10 economies in the Index exhibiting over 30x higher patenting rates than the Index’s bottom 10 economies.
-Entities in the economies scoring above the median level of the Index are 30% more likely to enjoy access to the most recent technological developments.

While the final print of the policy remains to be seen, to determine its impact on the economy, it is certainly a step in the right direction. 

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