INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Rishiraj Chandan {NLU Delhi}                                                           

Abstract:

This paper provides a concise overview of the relationship between Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and economic development, highlighting their critical interdependence and the significant role they play in shaping global economies. Intellectual Property (IP) refers to intangible assets, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, that are protected by law to incentivize innovation, creativity, and knowledge creation. IPR systems provide legal frameworks that safeguard the exclusive rights of creators, innovators, and inventors, ensuring that they can benefit from their creations, thereby fostering an environment conducive to economic growth.

Firstly, we will see how strong IPR protection encourages innovation and technological advancements. Robust IP regimes incentivize inventors and companies to invest in research and development, knowing that their intellectual assets will be safeguarded and rewarded. This stimulates the creation of new products, processes, and technologies, driving economic progress and enhancing competitiveness. Secondly, it emphasizes the significance of IPR in fostering domestic and foreign investments. Countries with robust IP protection mechanisms attract foreign direct investments as businesses seek secure environments to establish operations.

Additionally, the paper acknowledges the challenges posed by the complex global IP landscape, such as striking a balance between incentivizing innovation and ensuring affordable access to essential goods, such as life-saving drugs or educational resources. It highlights the importance of finding appropriate mechanisms, such as compulsory licensing or patent pools, to address these concerns while upholding the principles of IPR. In conclusion, this abstract emphasizes the crucial role of Intellectual Property Rights in driving economic development. By encouraging innovation, attracting investments, facilitating technology transfer, and promoting knowledge dissemination, strong IPR systems foster economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development.

IP AND DIGITAL ECONOMY: Introduction

Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are not familiar with the definition of intellectual property (IP) as a result of the growth of the digital economy. Intangible assets, often known as intellectual property, are valued more highly as we approach the digital era. In the past, IP was only thought to be important for specific businesses or for those who needed to protect patents. Today, any company that wishes to expand or sell itself must begin by considering IP[1]. Websites, content, and know-how are all examples of intangible assets that provide value to a company and should be treated as real property like land. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses that aim to be successful to own these intangible assets and to make sure they are not infringing on anyone else’s IP, such as names, logos, copyright materials, etc.

Also Read: Economic Significance in Inventions: Patentable Enough?

IP STRATEGY:

Planning the time and procedures for due diligence and safeguarding your intangible assets require an intellectual property (IP) strategy. These resources are crucial for setting yourself apart from your rivals and dominating the market. Your possessions could not be seen as assets at all if you are violating someone else’s rights, and you might be opening yourself up to responsibility. To avoid such problems, it is vital to conduct inspections at an early stage.

The majority of business sectors have seen considerable increases in competition as a result of the removal of entry barriers, allowing customers a wide range of alternatives for every service they need[2]. As a result, some companies succeed while others struggle to stay afloat. To retain your distinctiveness and secure your revenues, it is essential to plan your due diligence and protect your intangible assets. The greatest time to prepare for this is from the start of your business, even if you might take fewer precautions to preserve your position at first than after you become established.

IP’s ROLE IN BUSINESS AND ITS DEVELOPMENT

The truth is that some firms will unavoidably be more successful than others, and to some extent, a business’s confidence will determine the level of intellectual property (IP) protection it implements in its early phases.’

Successful businesses frequently have a few things in common, like careful planning, budgeting, and market research before they are founded, a firm grasp of the market and consumer behaviour, adaptability to changing circumstances, awareness of business risks and the steps needed to mitigate them, and more expertise and experience in running a business. These observations[3] are based on both information and experience gained from working in a certain industry, and there is no replacement for being aware of the market’s hazards. Over half of all firms fail within the first five years, according to the Telegraph. According to Shireen Smith’s book, Intellectual Property Revolution, one cause for this can be the unintentional violation of IP rights or the inability to take necessary precautions to preserve IP, which is crucial to the success of a certain business model.

The hazards that might result from failing to take early consideration of intellectual property (IP) concerns into account may not be completely understood by business owners. There are two facets of IP that should be taken into account. First and foremost, it’s crucial to make sure that you are not violating anybody else’s intellectual property rights when using their IP. In order to position your company advantageously for future growth, you need also get exclusive rights to your own IP[4].

Your brand identification (trademarks), the things you produce (patents), the way things look (designs), the material you generate (copyright), and your sensitive information, such as trade secrets, know-how, and technical skills, are all examples of intellectual property. Having exclusive IP rights restricts competitors from exploiting and profiting from your ideas, and allows you to benefit from your unique identity and offerings.

Depending on the type of IP, different benefits come with it. For designs, patents, and trademarks, monopoly rights are given, enabling those who apply for them to stop others from violating the monopoly’s defined boundaries. While copyright does not grant a monopoly over developed work, it does prevent other companies from using it for their own profit.

In the end, these advantages result in more revenue for enterprises. Customers are more inclined to refer a company to others when they recognise its brand identity, which boosts sales. Similar to this, a patent holder can forbid others from producing an innovation, requiring consumers to buy from them, or provide a profit-making licence for the production and selling of the product to a third party. Whether through direct sales or licencing payments, the patent holder gains in either scenario.

PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES WITH IP TODAY


Intellectual property management errors can have detrimental effects on a company’s operations. It may be expensive for well-established businesses and embarrassing. However, it can be terrible for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and possibly lead to the collapse of the company[5]. Two instances are given to show the results of making a mistake. In one instance, the Dr. Martens proprietors and the creator of the logo engaged in a copyright battle that ultimately reached the Court of Appeal. If the appropriate contractual clauses had been in place from the start, the conflict may have been avoided. In a different instance, Microsoft was forced to change the name of its cloud storage service, Skydrive, to Onedrive because broadcaster Sky had violated its trademark rights.

Manufacturing companies face a number of IP difficulties in the digital economy. These include safeguarding and making use of the value of data, especially that contained in exclusive cloud-based algorithms and enormous training data warehouses amassed over time by Internet of Things (IoT) devices. To preserve this data, businesses must put a high priority on cyber security. To increase the value of their data, they may even consider licencing it. It’s crucial to comprehend the potential of IP portfolios since successful businesses will be those who can create sizable, strategically-driven IP portfolios that encompass a variety of pertinent, emergent, and convergent technologies. In order to comply with regulations prior to the release of a product and to prevent infringements, businesses may need to sign in-licensing agreements. They may also wish to think about licencing out their patented technology to other businesses.

Manufacturing companies will also need to comprehend and adhere to the nuances, distinctions, and specifications of the various licencing options for opensource software. Additionally, businesses will need to distinguish their most important know-how/data (trade secrets) from their general data and handle, enforce, and safeguard them individually. Manufacturing companies must concentrate on three key pillars in order to manage IP in the digital economy: having or having access to the required IP awareness and management capabilities; aligning IP strategy with business objectives and structures; and creating their own integrated digital IP strategy that incorporates a portfolio approach.

Not understanding the effects of intellectual property (IP) on your firm early on might lead to issues and eventually lower the total worth of your organisation. As a result, it’s crucial to be proactive with your IP and carry out thorough research before using any IP. Consider the counsel you receive as an investment as opposed to an expense. You will be better able to capitalise on your successes and support the expansion of your company if you put in place a solid strategy to safeguard and promote ownership of your assets.

IPR DOMAINS: THE ISSUE

IPR Domains in India

In India, a number of laws regulate intellectual property rights. These are grouped according to the area of expertise they have. The IPR domain in India includes a variety of intellectual property types, such as:

Patents: An invention’s inventor is given the legal right to make, use, and sell the invention exclusively for a set amount of time through the issuance of a patent. The issuance and defense of patents in India are governed by the Indian Patent Act, 1970[6].

Trademarks: A trademark is a distinguishing sign or symbol that is used to set one person’s or company’s goods or services apart from those of competitors. In India, trademark registration and protection are governed by the Trade Marks Act, 1999.[7]

Copyright: The exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and display an original piece of literature, art, or music is known as a copyright, and it is an enforceable right awarded to the creator. In India, copyrights are granted and protected under the Copyright Act, 1957.[8]

Trade Secrets: Trade secrets are classified as proprietary knowledge that gives a business a competitive edge. Trade secrets are shielded in India by both common law and contract law.

Geographical Indications: A geographical indicator (GI) is a label applied to goods that come from a certain region and have characteristics or a reputation that are peculiar to that region. In India, GIs must be registered and protected under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.[9]

Designs: A product or article’s shape, configuration, pattern, or decoration are all examples of a design. The registration and protection of designs in India are governed by the Designs Act, 2000.[10]

IPR, Patent and Technology Transfer

Maximizing the interests of a specific nation, business, or person is the primary goal of using IPRs, along with fostering and harnessing humankind’s capacity for innovation in order to better human situations. There are, nevertheless, certain significant economic difficulties that are relevant to IPR. Its restriction of technological innovation and technology transfer is a significant problem. The stringent patent protection laws in wealthy nations frequently impede technology transfer.

The question of technology transfer concerns how easily advanced technologies created in wealthy countries may be accessed and used in emerging nations like India. Technology transfer can be accomplished through a variety of strategies, including foreign direct investment, license deals, and research partnerships.  For a predetermined amount of time, patent protection gives the creator of a new invention the sole authority to produce, employ, and sell the technology.

To encourage innovation and financial investment in R&D, patent protection is crucial. However, stringent patent enforcement can also restrict access to new technologies and prevent technology transfer, particularly for developing nations that depend on access to new technologies to sustain their economic development. The Indian Patent Act, which is applicable to India, governs the protection of patents and which is also in line with international patent laws and regulations. However, India’s access to and development of new technology may be constrained by the tight enforcement of patents, particularly in industries where patented technologies are essential to growth and development. For instance, to promote accessible healthcare, India’s pharmaceutical business significantly depends on the creation and manufacturing of generic medications.[11]

Governments want to encourage R&D by giving inventors a monopoly through a patent, which offers them a financial advantage. The public gains from technical advancement at the same time. Everywhere you look, patent systems are based on a trade-off. Governments must strike the right balance between encouraging innovation on the one hand and making new items widely accessible on the other.  These stringent patent protection laws in wealthy nations can also restrict access to new medications and obstruct the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches.[12]

Developing nations like India frequently implement measures like compulsory licensing, where the government permits local businesses to create generic versions of patented medications at a reduced cost, to solve the issue of technology transfer. However, the effectiveness of these approaches may be constrained by the frequent judicial challenges that developed country patent owners raise. Overall, the problem of technology transfer serves as a reminder of the necessity of a balanced approach to patent protection, one that encourages creativity and financial investment in R&D while also guaranteeing developing nations’ access to life-saving tools and medications.

The instance of the HIV/AIDS medicine Darunavir serves as an illustration of the problem with technology transfer in India. Due to patent constraints, the Indian government was forced to buy the medicine at a premium cost from a US pharmaceutical company that has the patent. As a result, the government and a regional pharmaceutical business started a campaign to create a generic version of the medication. But the US business filed a lawsuit against the Indian business for patent infringement, and the dispute ended up in court. The generic version of the medicine was eventually made accessible at a far lower price thanks to the Indian company’s eventual victory in the legal battle, expanding access to treatment for HIV/AIDS patients in India. [13]

Economic Analysis

Patent protection and technological transfer are complex topics for economic research, and both their advantages and disadvantages must be carefully considered. To promote innovation and financial investment in R&D, patent protection is crucial. It grants innovators the only right to use their creations, enabling them to recoup their expenditures and make a profit on their investment. This encourages inventors to keep creating innovative technology and goods, which may promote the expansion and advancement of the economy. However, patent protection can also obstruct the transfer of technology and reduce the accessibility of innovative technologies in underdeveloped nations. This may limit access to necessary medical care and technological advancements as well as impair economic growth and development in these nations.[14]

However, technical transfer can help developing nations since it gives them access to and use of cutting-edge technologies created in rich nations. This can help these nations’ economies grow and flourish, as well as increase access to critical medical equipment and technologies. Technology transfer, however, can also be risky for nations because it might result in the loss of intellectual property and put native industries in competition.

Therefore, a balanced approach to technical transfer and patent protection is required to guarantee that the advantages of both policies outweigh their drawbacks. Governments should implement policies that encourage innovation and investment in research and development while also ensuring access to vital medicines and technologies, taking into account the social and economic benefits of patent protection and technical transfer.

To address the issue of technology transfer, the Indian government has put in place a number of measures, including mandatory licensing and team research collaborations. These regulations have improved access to necessary technology and encouraged the creation of low-cost generic medications. The necessity for a balanced approach to patent protection and technical transfer is highlighted by the fact that these regulations have also been the target of legal challenges from patent holders in industrialized nations.

Importance of IPR in Economic development

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are legal rights that are granted to individuals or businesses that have created original works, including inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, and names. These rights provide the owners with exclusive rights to use and exploit their creations for a certain period, allowing them to earn profits and invest in further innovation. IPR is important in economic development because it helps to promote innovation, drive economic growth, and encourage foreign investment.

Act as an Incentive for new innovations 

Innovation is the process of creating something new or improving an existing product, service, or process. However, the process of innovation can be time-consuming and expensive, making it difficult for innovators to recoup their investment. This is where IPR plays a crucial role. IPR laws provide innovators with exclusive rights to their creations, preventing others from using, selling, or manufacturing their work without their permission. This protection gives innovators the confidence to invest time and resources into research and development, knowing that they will be able to reap the benefits of their work. Due to this confidence it encourages inventors, artists, and other creators to do innovation. Without these protections, individuals and businesses would have no incentive to invest time and resources into developing new products or services.

As stated in the working paper “The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Technology Transfer and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence” of United Nation Industrial Development Organization that as research is a risky activity, returns on successful R&D (which produces intellectual property) must be large enough to compensate for the high proportion of R&D that is unsuccessful, generating in this way a normal return on R&D as a whole. Additionally, if a firm is not able to make huge income and profit from its innovative activity, it may not only be unable for them to fund R&D but they may not be able to stay in business at all. By protecting the rights of creators, IPR creates a framework that enables businesses to compete in a fair and transparent marketplace. This framework encourages investment in research and development, which can lead to the creation of new products and services, and ultimately, economic growth.

  • The Case Study of UK

The first industrial revolution started only in Britain because it had a strong economic institutional mechanism which ushered invention and innovation in a highly primitive market, leading to the emergence of new technologies and inventors such as James Watt as now they have incentives and a level playing field where no big monopolies or aristocrats can withhold the competition.

After the Glorius Revolution of 1688, the Parliament became powerful and gave protection and several incentives in order to intensify investments, trade and innovation. It eventually led to the decrease in the power of monopolies backed by aristocrats. Furthermore, wages and employment increased, new companies were established, and the period witnessed a surge in inventions and patents. Meanwhile, the intermingling of all these factors made Britain the most advanced and self-reliant country of that time. The industrial revolution might not have occurred in Britain if the institutions and IPR laws were not strengthened following the Glorius revolution.

Encourages Foreign Investment

IPR is critical in attracting foreign investment. Companies are more likely to invest in countries that have strong IPR protections, as it gives them the confidence that their investments will be protected. This, in turn, can lead to increased economic activity, job creation, and higher standards of living.

A strong IPR law is based on a very simple logic that begins with protection and ends with innovation. For instance, the firm foundation of IPR laws in the early days of the USA gave a major impetus in the development of new companies across industries and innovations because it motivated and protected small and new players from the big business behemoths from using their financial prowess to suppress other players. This encouraged them to come into the market protected from uncanny business practices.

Furthermore, it gives small players a level playing field, which leads to innovation and job creation. China, for example, in its first 30 years of existence was in a very decrepitude condition because of autocratic political and economic institutions, which did not give many incentives or a balanced arena where corporations could innovate and manufacture on a large scale. This resulted in widespread poverty, starvation, deaths of millions of people with almost no modernization. Further, it made China reliant on other countries for even essential supplies. However a drastic change 1980s and 90s, when Deng Xiaoping opened the Chinese economy and incentives private corporation that gave it a tremendous boost, thus shaping the country  in what it looks like today. There was a multifold increase in the number of private companies along with the constant decline in the number and market share of government companies. In 1997, there were a total of 7,922,900 enterprises in China’s industrial sector. Of these, 98,600, or just 1.25%, were state-owned enterprises.

IPR also has the potential to address some of the most pressing global challenges, such as climate change and public health. As new companies are emerging in the climate and energy sector promoting green technologies and giving new job opportunities to the youth. Big monopolies may try to thwart competition and growth in this new sector and here comes the role of the IPR laws in protecting these corporations.

In conclusion, IPR is critical in economic development as it promotes innovation, drives economic growth, encourages foreign investment, and has the potential to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. It is therefore important for governments to establish strong legal frameworks for protecting IPR, and for businesses to take advantage of these protections to invest in innovation and drive economic growth.

LACK OF GLOBAL PRESENCE OF INDIA-BASED IPR

There has been a rise in the number of patent applications filed and approved in India. From 2010-2011 to 2016-2017 to 2021-22, the total number of patent applications filed in India increased from 39,400 to 45,444, while the total number of patents issued increased from 7,509 to 9,847 to 30,074. In addition, Indian citizens, rather than foreign corporations, are filing for a growing share of patents. The percentage of Indian citizens applying for visas has increased by more than 100% during the past decade. From 20% in 2010-11 to 30% in 2016-17 and then to 44% in 2021-22, residents’ participation in patent applications has risen steadily. In the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2021-2022, local patent filings at the Indian Patent Office topped the number of patents submitted by foreign entities for the first time in the past eleven years. It’s worth noting that the process reforms1 implemented over the past five years have been substantially responsible for the recent gains. As a result, India has risen 35 places in the Global Innovation Index, from 81st in 2015-16 to 46th in 2021.[15]

When seen in the context of time, this may appear like great growth; nonetheless, India remains far behind its worldwide contemporaries. When compared to China, the United States, Japan, and Korea, India has a significantly lower rate of patent applications and approvals. In 2020, just 3.8% of patents will be submitted in China, compared to 9.5% in the United States.[16]

Nearly 1.5 million patent applications were submitted to the China National Intellectual Property Administration in 2020. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has received 2.5 times that amount. After the European Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, and the Japanese Patent Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office placed second with 597,172 applications (180,346). It is projected that by 2020, the top five offices would have processed 85.1% of all global applications, an increase of 7.7% from 2010. China’s contribution to global GDP more than quadrupled from 19.6% in 2010 to 45.7% in 2020, mostly as a result of the country’s rapid economic development. The ratio of locals to non-locals who apply to these agencies varies substantially. In 2020, for instance, just 10% of patent applications in China came from outside the country, but that number was 54% in Europe and 54% in the United States.[17]

When compared to the world’s top patenting nations, India not only has a far lower patenting output, but its patent application processing times are also significantly longer. Disposal should take no more than three years, but in India, it takes an average of just under five years and as much as nine in some sectors like biotech because of a lack of qualified workers in the industry.

Within 18 months of filing, the Controller will publish the application; within this time, the applicant may request that the application be withdrawn. The application will then be processed and reviewed. The waiting period before receiving the first office action has decreased significantly in recent years. From a projected 18 months in 2020 to the current record-breaking 4.8 months, the time it takes to receive the first office action is the shortest of any jurisdiction in the world. However, the outcome has not improved because of the subsequent lengthy delays. Final disposal times fell from 64 months in 2017 to 42 months in 2020, but have since been creeping back up to their current 58-month mark. In comparison, it takes 20–21 months on average in China and the United States to dispose of an application, which is less than a third of the time it takes in India. The remaining three IP-5 agencies (European Patent Office, Japan, and South Korea) take 25.4, 15, and 15.8 months to process the application.

According to the WIPO’s annual report, India has one of the highest rates of withdrawn patent applications which is mostly due to delays in the procedure. Although the percentage of withdrawn applications in India decreased as processing times were shortened and procedures were simplified, it was still about 66% in 2018. Even if the withdrawal share fell to 54% in 2019 and 38% in 2020, it was still significantly larger than the United States, Japan, Korea, and China, the other major economies of the globe.[18]

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

  • First, the present backlog of applications has to be cleared promptly by sanctioning new jobs at the controller level. Just shuffling around the current staff won’t solve anything. To keep up with the volume of patent applications and processing times of our international competitors in the coming years, the patent office will need a significant expansion in staff. A brief certificate course (similar to a diploma) may be produced in tandem with existing graduation courses in order to increase the accessible pool of qualified employees. Those who have completed this training and meet the prerequisite qualifications may be considered for temporary employment as examiners.
  • Lack of set timetables also leads to delays, therefore fixing timelines for each step of the process is a crucial step that has to be done to solve the delays in processing patent applications. For instance, anybody who disagrees with the patent application can submit a pre-grant opposition at any time after the application has been published but before the award. The lack of a hard deadline causes unnecessary accumulations and holds up. Instead, hard deadlines should be established.
  • Applicants face onerous compliance obligations as a result of certain sections of the patent legislation. For instance, applicants must continue to submit information about the prosecution of foreign patent applications on a periodic basis[19], which imposes stringent criteria for ensuring compliance. Since India has joined WIPO’s Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE)[20], the patent office may quickly and readily access this data in order to process PCT applications. Such, alternatively, the clause should be changed so that the controller can request certain details about such PCT applications from the applicant. The patent office should be encouraged to use data from WIPO CASE to learn about the outcomes of similar applications in other key jurisdictions, which may then be used to streamline the application process on a national level.

Reforms required to build domestic IPR regime and mobilize in global market:

An Indian report rarely receives favourable attention outside country does not happen often. The 10th edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index from the US Chambers of Commerce accredited the 161st Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce[21], which was widely debated in the legal community.

The recommendations were welcomed as a “welcome development” and “a first significant attempt at assessing the state of India’s IP policy regime,” according to the US magazine. It also emphasised the importance of the suggested Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) reforms in the study for significantly enhancing India’s domestic IP environment.

Contents of the report:

In accordance with the evolving dynamics of innovation, the report emphasises the need for an appropriate legislative framework on intellectual property rights (IPR), measures to speed up the processing of patent and trademark applications, active coordination between enforcement agencies, and the appointment of skilled manpower and additional staff for deftly handling IPR issues.

Procedural Amendments:

For the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the patent application process, the research study suggested a number of procedural improvements. In order to reduce some of the delays plaguing the system at the moment, it has suggested introducing defined deadlines at key points in the patent process. It has suggested doing away with onerous compliance requirements like the need to submit data on the prosecution of foreign patent applications, even though this data is readily available via the PCT portal. The report also urges the creation of utility model patents, which offer a less onerous application process but a shorter duration of protection, for small discoveries. Utility model patents, if they are adopted, will be especially important for inventions arising from programmes supported by the nation’s Atal Innovation Mission.[22]

Additionally, it urges lawmakers to pass legislation addressing concerns including educational copyrights, trade secrets, financing for IP assets, and anti-counterfeiting. The group hopes to close the gap between innovation, economic activity, and IPR through the effective application of its proposals. As a result, there will be more employment possibilities and foreign currency inflow. The committee has also acknowledged the value of industry-academic collaboration to advance research and innovation, particularly in the pharmaceutical business.[23]

It is clear reports such as these and the innovation discussed in the National IPR Policy are clear Indicators of building a regime, where markets are developed and protected from theft when the Intellectual Property Rights of the goods, products, trade name and trade secrets are protected under the legal sanction.[24]  The Committee suggested, that state governments in consultation with the Industrial and Commercial lobby should endeavour to formulate their state policies, in order to have “trickle down” effect in bring change and further boost the IPR promotion and protection regime.

Key Recommendations

IP Financing: According to the Committee, using IP-backed financing (using IP to obtain financial benefits, credit, or revenue) can promote financial innovation, boost credit availability, and broaden the capital base.  In order to reduce financial risks from IPR infringement, it was advised to (i) alter the Insurance Act of 1938, (ii) create a standardised system of IP valuation, (iii) implement legislation to safeguard IPR and establish criteria for financing, and (iv) embrace risk-sharing policies with businesses.

Piracy and counterfeiting: The Committee recommended the following measures to combat piracy and counterfeiting: (i) implementation of strict legislation through strong inter-Departmental coordination; (ii) boosting the capacity of enforcement agencies (such as IPR cells in the state police); and (iii) establishing a method to calculate revenue loss from it.  To prevent misuse and reap marketing benefits, it suggested identifying products as “patent pending” (patent applied, but not yet granted).

Sector-specific recommendations: A new category of rights for innovations in artificial intelligence and related fields was suggested by the committee because of the technology’s numerous advantages and practical uses. Education and Health were regarded as one of those potential sectors where AI oriented and IPR protected tools and equipment can boost the economic build-up of the country as more people shall be aware of the IPR relation to market and development. It also advocated directing pharmaceutical research towards the development of novel medications and specialised markets.[25] This emerging area requires intervention both on Central Level and State level to tap all resources to build the policy for further innovation and growth.

  • The key reform, from all the amendments as recommended or fielded by people who hail expertise in this area is on the ground Research and Development, on finding solutions to the problem of IP Protection and IP Theft.

Indian Pharma Industry had shown tremendous growth in the COVID-19 pandemic, a good start for building the Specific sector would be promote more development and protection of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) which act as the backbone of the Innovation and Growth of this industry.

Many of the products, for which the Department of Trade and Commerce looks out for as Import Substitution products such electronic manufacturing industry, require research and development especially these capital intensive areas, today require establishment of high tech labs for building more technical components and drivers within India.

Critical Analysis of the Report:

The Parliamentary Standing Committee ought to have given its full attention to those critical concerns, both inside and outside of the Parliament, and postponed the non-priority issues until later. To solve the COVID-19 pandemic situation in India, for instance, a rigorous and targeted analysis of the influence of patents, trade secrets, and copyright could have been very pertinent today. A focused analysis of the issues, particularly the scope and restrictions of compulsory licences as well as IP waivers, could have given our Parliamentarians and the Government better direction in handling the IP-related aspects of the crisis, despite the report’s superficial remarks.[26]


[1] Impact of Digital Economy on Intellectual Property Law

[2] https://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/insights/innovation-and-ip-management/intellectual-property-challenges-for-the-digital-economy/

[3] https://www.kashishipr.com/blog/intellectual-property-ip-challenges-faced-in-the-digital-economy/

[4] Kurt Opsahl, Lui-Kwan, Kalama , 14 BERKELEY TECH. L.J. 503 (1999)

[5] Asif Kahn & Ximei Wu, Impact of Digital Economy on Intellectual Property Law, 13 J. POL. & L. 117 (2020)

[6] The Patents Act, 1970

[7] The Trade Marks Act, 1999

[8] The Copyright Act, 1957

[9] The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999

[10] The Designs Act, 2000

[11] Swilam, Y., (2017). The Potential of Intellectual Property Rights for Economic Development: A Case Study on India. Retrieved from Lund University Publications database.

[12] Intellectual property and access to medicine. Oxfamamerica.org. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/issues/economic-well-being/intellectual-property-and-access-to-medicine/

[13] Butler, D. India says no to HIV drug patents. Nature (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/news.2009.882

[14] Economic Development and Patents. WIPO International. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from https://www.wipo.int/patent-law/en/developments/economic.html

[15] Final Annual Report (2021-22), Intellectual Property India https://ipindia.gov.in/writereaddata/Portal/Images/pdf/Final_Annual_Report_Eng_for_Net.pdf

[16] https://www.wipo.int/edocs/statistics-country-profile/en/_list/l1.pdf

[17] World Intellectual Property Indicators Report (2020), World Intellectual Property Organization

[18] ibid 2.

[19] https://ipindia.gov.in/writereaddata/Portal/News/591_1_PPH_Procedure_Guideline_combined_20191128_final.pdf

[20] https://ipindia.gov.in/newsdetail.htm?366/

[21] 161st Report on ‘Review of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Regime in India,’ Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce,

[22] Matthan, Rahul. “An Intellectual Property Regime Must Boost Innovation.” mint, August 30, 2022. https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/an-intellectual-property-regime-must-boost-innovation-11661877210249.html.

[23] Reddy, V Vijayasai. “India’s IPR Regime Requires a Makeover.” The Hindu BusinessLine, April 11, 2022. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/how-to-strengthen-indias-iprregime/article65304032.ece.

[24] SpicyIP, Swaraj Paul Barooah, and Praharsh Gour. “A Parliamentary Standing Committee Report That Challenges the Fine Balances within the IP System.” Spicyip, July 26, 2021. https://spicyip.com/2021/07/a-parliamentary-standing-committee-report-that-challenges-the-fine-balances-within-the-ip-system.html.

[25] Summary on “Review of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Regime in India”, PRS Legislative Research

[26] Scaria, Arul George. “A Parliamentary Standing Committee Report That Challenges the Fine Balances within the IP System.” BQ Prime, July 26, 2021. https://www.bqprime.com/law-and-policy/a-parliamentary-standing-committee-report-that-challenges-the-fine-balances-within-the-ip-system.