Developing Nations of the world have always been dominating on world’s map. Developing Nations since long ages are trying hard to control the trade and commerce. Inspite of the international standards setup by WTO and TRIPS some developed countries are out to follow new standards, making new governing units and working on clauses which are in contradiction to WTO TRIPS. In an increasingly competitive world, the developed countries are pursing intellectual property rights to retain the edge over poor developing countries The WTO – TRIPS agreement seeks to strike a balance between private rights of IP holders and public interest. However the developed countries are seeking to raise the bar by pursuing a TRIPS plus agenda, especially on IP enforcement.
However recent Anti- Counterfeit Act (ACTA) allows the right holders to seek seize of goods in transition account of purported IPR violation through summary administrative action. ACTA provisions would be enforced through domestic IP laws. TRIPS- plus IP standards in the domestic laws of countries, even if outcomes of unilateral or purilateral moves, would equally impact all countries by virtue of the WTOs most favored – nation clause. Consequently even goods of nonmembers would be subjected to such TRIPS – Plus measures when they are exposed to or are in transit through such countries.
Kenya’s recent Anti-Counterfeit Act even recognizes IPR protected in other countries. This would make generic goods imported into Kenya illegal. This has serious repercussions not only for Indian exports markets. India, being a developing country is largely a knowledge driven economy. Thus it becomes very important to device such an IP Policies where India’s commercial interests are protected in WTO, where they create a binding legal effect. So what India should do in such scenario? While TRIPS permit the WTO members to have TRIPS – plus standards, such measures cannot breach the fundamentals of TRIPS. ACTA provisions are not only TRIPS-Plus but are contravening the TRIPS clauses. The recent controversy over seizes of Indian drugs in transit by EU members saw their own public right activities takeup case against their own governments.
Gullible nations need to be established about TRIPS-Plus norms for public health, technology transfer and access to knowledge. A relative approach against EU members may not be India’s best International move rather India should take a coherent approach in consultation with all the affected stakeholders. Also, currently, except for the Pharma industry, rest of the industries are unaware that such international moves are targeting software industry at next level. Therefore it is the need of the hour that India should wake up and take proper legal route to combat the issue.
The Delhi 2010 Licensing and Merchandising Programme aims at showcasing India’s rich culture and its exceptional manufacturing and design capabilities. The Delhi 2010’s licensing and Merchandising Programme will promote and create awareness about the Games and will strive to involve people by offering them a truly unique Games experience through specially designed Games merchandise.
The merchandising and licensing function is expected to be one of the main sources of revenue for the Organisation Committee (OC), which has got a loan of Rs 1,620 crore from the Central government for the Games. Apart from products like caps and clothing accessories, the organizing committee is also going to allow the manufacturer to put the Games logo on Wrist bands, umbrellas, key chains and generic items including stationery, collectibles, sportswear, casual wear, apparel for kids and infants, toys, lifestyle and luxury products and even cultural and handicraft items. There are five intellectual properties (brand properties) related to the games that can be leveraged by an appointed licensee or licensees. And they are Delhi 2010 logo, 2010 Commonwealth games mascot – Shera, games pictograms, signature elements and team India Logo.
Sports enthusiasts are already familiar with the IPs and have developed an affinity towards them. Manufacturers and retailers can cash in on this great opportunity, which will eventually aid in enhancing the whole look and feel of the event by increasing the fan base. The OC has copyrighted around 50 design elements unique to ‘Games 2010’. The designs have been applied to a variety of items, from scarves, coffee mugs, umbrellas, laptop covers, t-shirts, ties, key-chains, packaging papers, posters, visors and others to build the buzz about the Games.
T.S. Darbari, Joint Director General, Delhi 2010 XIX Commonwealth Games reveals,”There is an economic impact of these games. They contribute a lot to the GDP, for instance, Commonwealth Games held at Manchester in 2002, contributed USD 3400 million to the country’s GDP, while that held in Melbourne in 2006 had an impact of USD 1600 million on Australia’s GDP. The forthcoming CWG is expected to have an impact of USD 4940 million on India’s GDP.” Unlike Beijing, whose public places like coffee shops, theatres, stations, public transport etc wore the ‘Olympics’ look months in advance with the help of the uniquely branded merchandise, Delhi is yet a long way to go.
On 12th July, U.S President Barack Obama wrote to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, requesting that she should spearhead efforts to ensure more funds to US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On Tuesday, August 10, President Barack Obama signed into law P.L. 111-224 that gives the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the authority to spend an additional $129 million of the fees the agency will collect in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Due to an improving economy and increased patent examination productivity, the agency projects that it will collect nearly $200 million more than its FY 2010 appropriation of $1.887 billion.
The United States has also taken a very significant and important step in its efforts to fight against counterfeiting and piracy by presenting the Nation’s first Joint Strategic Plan to Congress. This plan- crafted by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) with assistance from relevant
federal agencies – brings coordination between a wide range of government enforcement agencies to enhance and advance IP enforcement efforts. When it comes to address the issue of intellectual property, Barack Obama is quite aggressive. Armed with Obama’s support, Kappos has began the process of re-engineering the USPTO with gusto and has won almost universal praise in doing so.
Already, major changes have been introduced, by reforming the way in which examiners are assessed and rewarded, through placing greater emphasis on the PCT and patent prosecution highway, to beginning an overhaul of the office’s creaking IT infrastructure. For the first time in years, the USPTO’s user community- so often sullen and marginalised under previous administrations- seems to feel confident that there is meaningful and positive progress taking place. Earlier this year, during an interview that he gave in London, Kappos stated: “The president is an incredible supporter of the IP system. He gets it. The US is an innovation economy. Creating jobs, making Americans healthier, improving the environment and many other things all depend on us being successful innovators. So having a capable USPTO is vital.”