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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Business » National IPR Policy to be delayed further

National IPR Policy to be delayed further

By Nayanima Basu
May 28, 2015 13:47 IST
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Input from key ministries yet to come

Air showThe much-awaited National Intellectual Property Rights Policy might be delayed further, with the draft getting stuck at the inter-ministerial consultation level and inputs from key ministries yet to come.

The department of industrial policy and promotion, under the ministry of commerce and industry, had prepared and circulated the draft policy and invited public comments last year.

The draft is now with ministries, which were expected to respond with feedback by the middle of this month.

The ministries whose inputs are crucial for the policy but are yet to respond include finance, external affairs, health and family welfare, commerce and the departments of pharmaceuticals.

An official said on condition of anonymity the department of pharmaceuticals and the ministry of health and family welfare have apparently locked horns with the draft  policy.

DIPP is optimistic that it can collate all feedback by the month-end, a senior official told Business Standard.

“We did our work and the draft policy was ready on time.

“The draft has now been circulated for consultations.

“Some of key ministries are yet to respond, and we have given them until the end of May to do so.”

Minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in September last year that the government would roll out a National IPR Policy ‘soon’.

However, the government, which has been on office for a year now, is yet to roll out a policy to safeguard the country’s national interests and bring greater clarity to intellectual property and patent laws.

India had come under  pressure from the US, the drug manufacturers there, which believe the country has a weak IPR and patents regime.

“The draft policy was an important statement from the government on the work it is doing in the IPR front,” said Patrick Kilbride, executive director, Global Intellectual Property Center, US Chamber of Commerce.

“It is an important starting point. However, patents still remain a big concern for the US as far as affordable medicine is concerned.

“Many American companies have been denied patents in India. This is keeping new and affordable medicines off the Indian markets. This is anti-competitive.”

Ranjana Smetacek, director-general of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India, said the government should come out with a robust policy, after investing so much time on it.

In its latest Special 301 IPR report, the US trade representative had again kept India under the category of ‘Priority Watch List’ and threatened to take ‘further actions’ if the intellectual property climate does not improve.

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Nayanima Basu in New Delhi
Source: source

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