The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) suggested establishment of National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy Authority to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). ASSOCHAM asked for it due to fast changing trade environment driven by global competition, innovation risks, short product cycle, and rapid changes in technology involving huge investments in Research and Development and human resource. ASSOCHAM wants that proposed Authority should be aiming of aligning towards achieving a target of 50000 patent application filed in India in 2015 and 150000 in 2020. ASSOCHAM wants similar targets to be set for filing of design and trademark applications.
ASSOCHAM provides global patent filings of 2010, in which it can be seen that US received 24.8% of the applications, China received 19.8% and Japan received 17.4 % of the application and compared to that India received only 1.9% of the applications. And if the data is measured in terms of per billion dollars of GDP then US had 30 applications, China had 40 and Japan had 80 whereas India had just 10 applications per billion dollars of GDP.
ASSOCHAM president Rajkumar Dhoot wants this proposed authority to be functionally autonomous and financially independent and should be responsible to look into several existing policies, statutes and regulations should be undertaken with a view to align them with the stated objectives of the National Intellectual Property Right (IPR) strategy and to provide equal opportunities to all the players irrespective of their nationality. He also said that Government may not be complementary and aligned to the stated objectives of the National IPR Strategy.
A suggestion to extend tax incentives to IPR procurement expenses was also given. This was because patent filing and prosecution till grant can cost anywhere between 3-5 lakhs INR for each country. Also protecting trademarks, geographical indications and designs in multiple countries involves a lot of expenses; as it requires a lot of money to protect IP outside India, tax incentives for filing outside India based on first filing in India should be provided granting or registration of all types of IPRs including trademarks, design and patent should be made time bound and efficient by streamlining the procedure by which any application for any of the IPRs processed. He also added that timelines should include timelines for examination, hearing, issuance of grant notice etc. The Authority can assess regularly as to whether the timelines are met and corrective action should be taken whenever a lapse is encountered.
According to ASSOCHAM, the utility patents have been widely claimed to be a successful model for increasing the participation of the small entity, domestic applicants and MSMEs. This Authority will be responsible to check novelty and non obviousness against prior art. It will help Indian judicial system as it is already burdened with a large number of suspect patents in which validity have to be determined.
This Authority will also be responsible to make provisions to take action against software piracy in line with provisions for video piracy as an offence under the Prevention of Dangerous Activities of bootleggers, drug offenders, goondas, forest offenders, immoral traffic offenders and slum grabbers Act, introduced by various states. Since the government has recognized software industry’s role as the driver of economic growth, it has been recommended that these Acts be amended suitably to recognize software piracy as an organized crime. Similarly, an appropriate legislation should be enacted at the central government level to deter the tendency of software piracy.