India: Understanding The National IPR Policy

Last Updated: 4 October 2016
Article by DSK Legal

The Union Cabinet on 12th May, 2016, approved the long awaited national intellectual property rights policy ("Policy"), with a view to promoting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. It stresses on the need to recognize the importance of Intellectual Property Rights ("IPRs") as a marketable financial asset and economic tool. To achieve the same, the Policy lays down certain objectives i.e. increasing IPRs awareness, building a strong legislative framework, modernizing administration and management of Intellectual Property ("IP"), strengthening enforcement and adjudication for combating IPRs infringement. The Policy also seeks to create a framework for expanding human capital development for teaching, training, research and skill building in IP.

Key Takeaways from the Policy

  • It is laudable that the Policy did not open up the debate on Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970 which sets the standard for what is considered an invention in India. Section 3(d), which stopped ever-greening of patents, states that inventions that are discoveries of a new form of a known substance but do not result in increased efficacy, are not patentable.

In this regard, it must be noted that Novartis's cancer drug 'Glivec' and GSK's breast cancer drug 'Tykerb' were denied patent protection by the Indian courts on such grounds. Had the same been allowed, the aforesaid drugs would be selling at a price several times more than their generic versions sold by the Indian drug companies. Similarly, provisions on compulsory licensing of patents under the Indian patent laws have been retained as well, and will be exercised only under emergency conditions.

  • The Policy stresses on the need for a holistic approach to be taken on legal, administrative, institutional and enforcement issues related to IP. To achieve the same, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion ("DIPP") has been named the nodal point to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India. Therefore, the IPRs which were previously administered by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Communications and Technology, will henceforth be administered by the DIPP. The Policy also envisages constituting a "Cell for IPR Promotion and Management" (CIPAM) under the administration of the DIPP for promoting, creating and commercializing IP assets.
  • The Policy directs the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks to fix and adhere to timelines for granting registration and disposal of opposition
  • matters with respect to trademarks. In furtherance of the same, the government aims to lower the average time period for processing trademark applications for registration to one month from 2017 onwards.
  • The Policy aims to expand the ambit of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) beyond Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani and Siddha, to allow public research institutions and private players to use TKDL for further research and development ("R&D").
  • The Policy also plans to reach out to the less visible IP creators and holders, especially in rural and remote areas, which include small businesses, farmers, holders of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and folklore, designers and artisans.
  • The Policy plans to develop IPRs expertise among academia, legal practitioners, judiciary, IP users and civil society by adequate training and introduction of multi-disciplinary IP courses in all major training institutes such as judicial academies, the National Academy of Administration, police and customs academies etc. It further aims to make the study of IPRs an integral part of the curriculum in all legal, technical, medical and management educational institutions, and progressively introduce IP teaching in schools and colleges as well.
  • Pursuant to the Policy, the government plans to conduct a comprehensive IP audit across various sectors, with the intent to formulate and implement sector-wise programs to tap their potential, assess needs and lend support towards creation of IP.
  • Various incentives to promote R&D with respect to IP have been proposed under the Policy, which include:

i. Providing tax benefits by simplifying the process for availing direct and indirect tax benefits;

ii. Providing financial support for sale and export of products based on IPRs generated from public funded research;

iii. Formulating an effective loan guarantee scheme to encourage start-ups and cover the risk of genuine failures in commercialization based on IPRs as mortgage-able assets.

Concluding Remarks

IPRs are a significant chapter in India's growth story. A national IPRs regime needs to balance the interests of foreign manufacturers and innovators with those of indigenous innovators, especially, budding entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises. It further needs to ensure that the interests of the most deprived sections of the society are not jeopardized, particularly in social sectors as crucial as health. These conflicting pressures can be balanced only through a stable and predictable policy. The Policy is a significant step forward in this direction and seeks to develop a holistic and fair regime.

However, it must be borne in mind that adequate implementation and enforcement of the objectives set out in the Policy, hold the key to its success. It would interesting to note how soon and effectively the Policy's objectives are implemented, as many of the measures contemplated by the Policy may require amendments to the existing legal framework.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.