The economic contribution of IPR: The Committee believes that strengthening IPRs in India would also spur economic development and encourage foreign exchange inflow. Further, increase productivity and employment opportunities in the country.

Marking of products as patent-pending: The Committee believes that labelling products with ‘patent pending‘ would acknowledge their credibility and authenticity, yielding marketing benefits to the patentees.

Awareness of IPRs: The Committee notes with concern that a significant share of 64 per cent of the patents filed in India is by non-resident or foreign entities, wherein the patents filed by domestic entities occupy a portion of only 36 per cent.

Creation of IP Fund and Fostering IP Culture: The Committee recommends the Department that a provision of IP funds should be created in the country, which would help in supporting initiatives specifically for instilling IP culture in the remotest parts of India, including tribal belts, hilly and border states, Northeast Region.

Counterfeiting and piracy: The Committee acknowledges that IP crimes, including counterfeiting and piracy, are the rising threats to IPRs that should be regulated and deftly handled by taking appropriate measures. It recommends that the Department stress upon enforcement agencies to build on IP laws, including strengthening IPR cells in State police forces.

Artificial intelligence and IPR: The Committee note that the relevance and utility of cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning would increase manifold in the present world, especially in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic wherein digital applications are playing a crucial role in responding to the crisis.

Intellectual property appellate board (IPAB): The Committee desires to abolish a prominent appellate body of IPAB under the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021 should be reconsidered in the wake of its pivotal role in the adjudication of IPR appeals and cases.

Patent prosecution highway: The Committee observes that Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) amongst nations is a joint initiative that helps in creating a conducive environment for promoting and expediting the filing of patents. PPH facilitates exchanging information on norms and rules that are followed in granting patents in participating countries and thus enables the patentees and inventors to abide by the criterion of such nations while applying for patents.

IP financing: The Committee notes that the utility of IPRs as intangible assets in the financial sphere is a way forward to improve a country’s finances and enhance financial innovation, easy availability of credit, and increasing capital base.

The Patent Act, 1970: The Committee recommends to the Department that Section 3(b) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970 be amended so that a safeguard mechanism is included against the arbitrary exercise of power by the Controller in declining patents. The Committee notes that the deadline of 4 years to file an examination report by the patent applicant is too extensive and recommends the Department shorten it to a reasonable time frame to avoid any unnecessary delay in examination and grants of patents.

Compulsory Licensing: The Committee notes the significance of issuing Compulsory Licenses to manufacturers and individuals for utilizing the patents to serve public needs during circumstances of emergency and crisis.

Statement of working Form 27: The Committee notes that the provision of Form 27 is crucial as it seeks to ensure the good working of a patented invention on a larger scale to cater to the demands of the public at large.

Academia and Industry: The Committee recommends that the Department assign a devoted agency for establishing linkages between industry and academia so that India can be positioned on top in the field of innovations and inventions of our research and educational institutes.

IPR in pharmaceuticals: Discovery of new drugs, the Committee notes with concern that out of 16,134 patents filed during the last five years, only 4,345 were granted patents. The Committee recommends that necessary steps may be taken to expedite the process of examining/ granting patents.

IPR in agriculture: The Committee appreciates the supportive measures undertaken by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to mobilize agricultural researchers and scientists in the ambit of IPRs. (click here to read the full report)

Disclaimer: The present article intends to provide general guidance on the subject, and you can also consult us in your specific case.