Ministries examining draft intellectual property policy: Sitharaman

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The draft Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy is currently being scrutinised by various ministries following which it will be sent to the cabinet for approval, union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

“The draft policy, which came to us a little over a month ago has gone to the ministries for inter-ministerial consultations, post which it will be finalised for the cabinet,” Sitharaman said at an event here on trademarks jointly organised by her ministry, the World Intellectual Property Organization and industry chamber Ficci.

Last year, the NDA government announced the rolling out of a ‘National IPR Policy’ by early 2015. The Department of Industrial Policy and Planning (DIPP) created a think-tank which has formulated a draft policy.

Sitharaman said India’s IPR laws were of high quality and compliant with the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.

“The legal framework that we have is fully TRIPS compliant. There is no need for apprehension in any corner of the world that Indian patents, copyright are well protected,” she said.

In this connection, the commerce ministry last week said its DIPP has taken several steps for greater efficiency in processing of intellectual property rights applications to improve the IPR regime towards attracting foreign investment.

“Several measures have been taken to ensure continuous and unending improvement of the Indian IP ecosystem in the country,” the ministry said in a statement.

“To this effect, the DIPP has formulated a multi-pronged strategy to develop an Intellectual Property regime in the country to promote creativity and to develop the culture of respect for innovations and creativity,” it said.

The DIPP has taken measures like creation of additional posts to reduce manpower shortage and providing fee concessions for small and medium industry to encourage them to innovate.

“An additional 1,033 plan posts have been created, including 666 posts for Patents and Designs and 367 posts for Trademarks and GI (geographical indicators) at various levels,” the statement said.

Due to these steps, online filing has jumped from under 30 percent to over 80 percent in just a year, it said.

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