India: Cabinet Approves India's IPR Policy


The Union Cabinet on 13 May 2016 approved the National Intellectual Property (IPR) policy roadmap to foster creativity and innovation, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio development, enhance access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection. The Policy lays down the following seven objectives

  1. IPR Awareness, outreach and promotion
  2. Stimulate generation of IPRs
  3. Legal legislative Framework
  4. Administration and Management
  5. Commercialization of IPRs
  6. Enforcement and Adjudication
  7. Human Capital Development

It was mentioned in the policy that these objectives are sought to be achieved with detailed action points. It was further mentioned that the action departments shall be monitored by Department of Industrial Policy Promotion (DIPP) which shall be the nodal department to coordinate the implementation and future developments of IPRs in India.


To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRS among all sections of society the policy mandates a list of step which can be summarized as below,

  1. By launching associated campaign on electronic, print and social media and by linking the campaign with other national initiatives such as "Make in India", "Digital India", "Skill India", "Startup India", "Smart cities" and other new initiatives in future.
  2. Customizing programs for MSMEs, start-ups, R&D institutions, universities, colleges, inventors, creators, entrepreneurs; reaching out to IP generators in rural and remote areas; case studies of successful use of IPRs, promoting high quality and cost-effective innovation, involving eminent personalities as 'ambassadors' of IP, creating materials for IP promotion in multiple languages.
  3. Create awareness programs providing scientists/ researchers with a deeper understanding to protect their inventions, engaging public and private research organizations to create campaigns fir IP creation, encouraging MNCs to develop IP programs for their employees, creating materials for MSMEs to develop and protect IP.
  4. Create well publicized events and ongoing programs to emphasize the importance of IP. v. Create suitable course materials for educational institutions at all levels, online and distance learning programs for all categories of users; including IPR at school curriculum at appropriate level
  5. Engage with media to sensitize them regarding IP related issues.


The Policy suggests the following steps taken towards attaining this objective,

  1. To take steps to increase domestic filings of patent applications. To stimulate large corporations both Indian and foreign, that have R&D operations to create, protect and utilize IPRs in India.
  2. Improve awareness of the value of copyright for creators, the importance of their economic and moral rights
  3. To promote 'infusion of funds to public R&D units' as a part of corporate social responsibility to foster culture of open innovation. TKDL to be allowed access for further R&D in case of public research institutions.
  4. Encourage the registration of Geographical Indications (GIs) through support institutions; assist GI producers to define and maintain acceptable quality standards and providing better marketability.
  5. Encourage creation of design related IP rights by identifying, nurturing and promoting the aspects o9f innovation protectable under the design law and educating designers to utilize and benefit from their designs.


The policy describes the difficulty to predict the reach of existing laws in a changing and dynamic knowledge fields, therefore it becomes necessary to carry out legislative changes as may be required from time to time. The steps suggested by the policy on attaining this objective are as follows,

  1. Revision of existing IP laws wherever necessary if any in consultation with stakeholders; engage constructively in the negotiation of international treaties and agreements in consultation with stakeholders; engage internationally to protect traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions.
  2. Review and update IP related rules, guidelines, procedures and practices for clarity, simplification, streamlining, transparency and time bound processes in administration and enforcement of IP rights.
  3. To identify important areas of study such as IP interface with competition law and policy; provide guidelines for authorities whose jurisdictions impact administration or enforcement of IPRs such as patents and Biodiversity; protection of trade secrets.
  4. To examine the issues of technology transfer, know-how and licensing related to SEPs on fair and reasonable terms and provide a suitable legal frame work to address these issues.


  1. The administration of Copyright Act 1957 along with the Office of the Registrar of Copyrights, under the Department of Higher Education as well as the administration of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act 2000 along with the office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits LAYOUT-Design Registry under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology is being transferred to DIPP.
  2. The office of CGPDTM has undergone up gradation in the last few and mentions a list of changes such as fixing and adhering to timelines of registrations and disposal of opposition matters, adopting best practices of filing and docketing of documents, maintenance of records, user-friendly IP offices, to expedite digitization of Design office to enable online filing, examine joining of Centralized Access and Examination (CASE) and WIPO Digital Access Services (DAS) and few other changes in order to advance further.
  3. The office of Registrar of Copyrights will take measure to digitize copyrights records and introduce online facility, upgrade manpower resources for effective management as well as streamline processes for the grant of Copyrights.


It was described in the policy that a common public platform can serve as a database of IPRs would help creators and innovators connect to potential users, buyers and funding institutions. Few pivotal points mentioned in the policy can be summarized as below,

  1. Promote licensing and technology transfer for IPRs; devising suitable contractual and licensing guidelines to enable commercialization of IPRs; promote patent pooling and cross licensing to create IPR based products and services. Examine standard Essential Patents (SEPs) on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
  2. Facilitating investments in IP driven industries and services through the proposed IP Exchange for bringing investors/funding agencies and IP owners/users together. Promote use of Free and Open source software along with adoption of open standards.


In order to strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements the policy suggests various steps. The important points are summarized below,

  1. Measures to check counterfeiting and piracy are to be undertaken by the Government .To engage with all levels of industry, including e-commerce, in order to create respect for IP rights and devise collaborative strategies and tools; to undertake stringent measures to curb manufacture and sale of misbranded, adulterated and spurious drugs; measures to combat online and offline piracy
  2. To strengthen the enforcement mechanisms for better protection of IP rights by augmenting manpower, infrastructure facilities and technological capabilities of the enforcement agencies and building capacity to check proliferation of digital crimes;
  3. Licensing practices or conditions that may have an adverse effect on competition will be addressed through appropriate measures, including regulation of anti-competitive conduct in the market by the competition commission of India; to adjudicate IP disputes through commercial courts, set up at appropriate level.


The steps to be taken as mentioned in the Policy to strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs can be summarized in the following points,

  1. To strengthen and empower Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Intellectual Property and Management, Nagpur to conduct training for IPR administrators, managers in industry and business, academicians, R&D institutions, IP professionals, inventors and civil society; train the trainers and develop training modules; develop links with other similar entities at the international level; provide legal training for examiners
  2. To progressively introduce IP teaching in schools, colleges and other educational institutions and centers for skill development. Strengthen IP teaching, Research and Training in collaboration with WIPO, WTO and other International Organizations and reputed foreign Universities.

It was mentioned in the Policy that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion shall be the nodal point to coordinate, guide and oversee the implementation and future development of IPRs in India.


The approved IPR policy is comprehensive that reiterates India's stand in terms of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). A systematic implementation of the steps and strategies mentioned in the Policy will promote for a holistic and conducive environment to tap the full potential of Intellectual Property Rights for the country's growth and economic development.

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.

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