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Global Intellectual Property Index: India's dismal run continues

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

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India continues its dismal run in score, occupying the 29th position among 30 countries. According to the by (GIPC) of US Chamber of Commerce, the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Singapore top the 30-country list on robustness of IP system. Argentina, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Thailand take up the last five places in the latest report. In 2014, India was ranked last among the 25 economies surveyed.

The latest Index mapped the IP environment of 30 economies that constitute 80 per cent of global gross domestic product with scores evaluated on 30 indicators indicative of a robust IP system. "India is not a contracting party to any of the international treaties included in the Index, nor has India concluded an FTA (free trade agreement) with substantial IP provisions since acceding to the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement," the report said. When it comes to protection of patents, India could manage just one mark (out of a highest possible of seven).


However, the silver lining to India's dismal performance on IP environment was that the report acknowledged the efforts by the new government to make fundamental changes in the country's IP framework. "The draft national IPR policy recognised the fundamental links between IP, innovation, and the successful development of innovative products," the report said. It further noted that "new bilateral dialogue mechanisms between the US and India - including the high-level IP Working Group of the Trade Policy Forum - have potential to elicit positive changes to India's IP system". The report termed the decision to revise the country's Preferential Market Access policy as "a positive step".

The US government has been pushing India on IPR-related issues, while the Indian government has held that the country's IP regime is WTO-compliant. India is in the process of strengthening head count in IP offices across the country to reduce backlogs and pendency in patent and trademark offices.

INDIA'S STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
Strengths
  • Potential fundamental change in India as IP framework announced by new govt
     
  • New Preferential Market Access exempts private sector from procurement requirements
     
  • Basic IP framework introduced in mid-2000s, including 20-year patent protection
     
  • Ex-officio powers introduced in 2007 for the deputy and assistant commissioners of customs

Weaknesses
  • Patentability requirements outside international standards
     
  • Regulatory data protection and patent term restoration not available
     
  • History of using compulsory licensing for commercial & non-commercial situations
     
  • Limited framework for addressing online piracy
     
  • High level of software piracy, music piracy and counterfeit goods
     
  • Market access barriers
     
  • Poor application and enforcement of civil remedies and criminal penalties
     
  • Not a contracting party to any of the major international IP treaties

First Published: Thu, February 05 2015. 00:28 IST
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