SPICY IP Tidbit: DIPP Becomes the Chief IP Body: Copyrights and Semiconductors Now Under its Ambit

Vasundhara Majithia, our Spicy IP Fellowship applicant brings us this breaking titbit on copyrights and semiconductors being brought under the ambit of the DIPP.

In a move to consolidate all IP related functions, the government of India has finally transferred copyrights from the ambit of the Human Resource Development Ministry (“HRD”) to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (“DIPP”) and semiconductors from the purview of the Department of Information Technology (“IT Ministry”) to the DIPP.  We had blogged about the need to consolidate all IP related functions way back in 2010.

This is a huge and welcome move with respect to copyrights.  Readers will recall the earlier power tussles between the HRD Ministry and Ministry of Commerce earlier which we had discussed here. Semiconductors on the other hand are one of the most redundant forms of IP in the world so the impact of the transfer one would assume will be negligible. Anyone with an invention around circuits usually prefers patent protection. Matters relating to the promotion and manufacture of semiconductor devices however will still remain under the IT Ministry. Only the Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers Rights Act, 2001 now remains outside the ambit of the DIPP.

As part of the transfer, entire registries and offices including staff dealing with these matters will be transferred to the DIPP. This decision has been taken by the government to facilitate better coordination and uniformity in decision making at national and international levels under a single department. The DIPP already administers the Patents Act, 1970, The Trade Marks Act 1999, The Designs Act, 2000 and the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. It is also the nodal department of the government for matters concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

With copyrights and semiconductors also under its control, the DIPP has now become an all-powerful IP body. This is a welcome initiative and should hopefully ensure better coordination between the various departments and avoid turf-wars with respect to jurisdiction.



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