While the National IPR {Intellectual Property Rights} policy has tried to address a number of gaps in India's IPR system, it has number of flaws. Discuss.

The National IPR Policy addresses gap in current IPR system by creating synergy between all forms of intellectual property, concerned statutes and agencies. Its seeks to bring India’s IP regime on par with global standards and help improve its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. Further:

  • It will cut the time taken on clearing the backlog of intellectual property rights (IPR) applications from the current five to seven years to 18 months .
  • The policy seeks to promote R&D through tax benefits available under various laws and simplification of procedures for availing of direct and indirect tax benefits.
  • Increasing awareness about IPR will help in building an atmosphere where creativity and innovation are encouraged, leading to generation of protectable IP that can be commercialized.
  • This policy shall weave in the strengths of the Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive environment, which stimulates creativity and innovation across sectors, as also facilitates a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.

It focuses on enhancing access to healthcare, food security, environmental protection and prevents film and music piracy. For Ex, Indian Cinematography Act, 1952 may be amended to provide for penal provisions for illegal duplication of films.
However, there are several flaws in the policy. For example, the assumption that more IP translates to more innovation is a flawed one and fails to appreciate that IP is not an end in itself but a mere means to an end. Given this flawed assumption,, the policy then advocates that all knowledge should be converted to IP. Even corporates today recognise that IP does not work well in certain technology sectors, for which a free flow of open knowledge is more suitable. Criminalising wrongs arising out of violation of the Indian Cinematographic Act is too harsh and disproportionate and uncalled for. IP wrongs are essentially civil wrongs and should not be criminalised.

Question for UPSC Mains:
"While the National IPR {Intellectual Property Rights} policy has tried to address a number of gaps in India’s IPR system, it has number of flaws." Discuss.

Published: March 14, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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