‘National IPR Policy Will Soon Go for Cabinet Approval’: Nirmala Sitharaman

Press Trust of India, October 15, 2015

A National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy will soon be taken to the Cabinet for approval, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

A leaked version of the IPR policy doing rounds is only a draft and is not the final policy, she said.

“The finally policy will go to the Cabinet (shortly),” she told PTI here.

According to the leaked draft, the IPR policy would ensure that intellectual property rights are not abused and their implementation and enforcement does not adversely affect India’s developmental objectives.

While protecting concerns such as public health, food security and environment, the draft policy aims to foster predictability, clarity and transparency in order to augment research, trade, technology transfer and investment.

Ms Sitharaman said Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has already explained that the leaked draft is not the final policy.

“The think-tank’s version which was put in the public domain is what was leaked. The final policy will go to the Cabinet,” she said.

Several countries and multinational corporations want India to bring its patent laws at par with global standards.

“A think-tank went into understanding how India’s IPR policy should be framed. A draft report is submitted, that was put in the public domain. In fact, many countries and their representatives met with the think-tank, interacted and have given their inputs.

“Having taken the inputs, the final draft of the think-tank was submitted to the government which is going through the inter-ministerial consultation process.

“Soon, the final policy would go to the Cabinet for approval,” Ms Sitharaman said at an Observer Research Foundation conference.

According to the leaked inputs submitted by the IPR think-tank, the policy will ensure that IP rights are not abused and that implementation and enforcement of IP rights do not adversely affect India’s developmental objectives.

“Towards this end, the policy will catalyse the full potential of intellectual property for India’s economic growth and socio-cultural development while promoting public interest,” the draft said.

Under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) had prepared and circulated the draft IPR policy and invited public comments last year.

Subsequently, the government took inputs for the policy from all concerned departments and stakeholders. Besides talking about the initiatives being taken to promote start-ups in the country, the Minister said that the SIDBI-India Aspiration Fund has started lending to venture capital firms.

Talking about cyber security, she said the government was willing to engage in a very “constructive” dialogue with all the stakeholders.

The government is trying to make sure that cyber security can be achieved without encroaching into the private lives of citizens, she added.

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