The Economic Times reports that Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has set up a think tank to advise the Government on a gamut of issues related to patents and to also draft a national IPR policy.
The think-tank is a six member panel comprising Prathiba Singh, senior advocate; Punita Bhargava, advocate, Inventure IP; Unnat Pandit, Cadila Pharmaceuticals; Rajeev Srinivasan, director, Asian school of business; and Narendra Sabharwal, retired DDG, WIPO. The panel would be headed by Justice Prabha Sridevan, a former judge (Madras High Court) and former chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).
The Press Release by DIPP states that the IPR Think Thank would also identify the areas in IPR where research needs to be conducted and it would inform the Government about the various developments in IPR cases which have an implication on the India’s IPR policies. The think-tank would also suggest the best practices to be followed in Trademark, Patent and other Government Offices dealing with IPR so as to help the Government create an efficient and transparent system of functioning in such offices.
Among the think tank’s other functions are preparation of periodic reports on best practices followed by foreign countries and highlighting the discrepancies present in IPR legislations and giving recommendations to rectify the same. The think tank would also be giving its recommendations to the Government to improve the infrastructure in IP offices and tribunals.
We had reported earlier last month that a bilateral US-India Trade Policy Forum had been announced by Narendra Modi and Barack Obama, which many apprehended would affect the IP policies in India to the detriment of our country. Further, Swaraj had reported that the US Trade Representative plans to conduct an Out of Cycle Review (OCR) on the basis of its Special 301 Report (It is feared that the OCR might place India as a ‘priority foreign country’ which would consequently attract trade sanctions on India). The think-tank is entrusted with the task of advising the Government on the possible implications of the demands raised by partner countries during negotiations; I feel that it is not only desirable but also imperative that the think-tank would be able to help the Government think through the demands of other countries before giving in to the same.
At a time when the Government is contemplating revising India’s IPR policies, it is indeed welcome news that we would be having a think-tank dedicated to research in this field; this would ensure that policy decisions affecting IP are taken after proper research and discourse on the subject.