Millennium Post

Centre to frame IPR policy in six months: Nirmala

Amidst developed nations like the US raising issues over India's intellectual property rights regime, the government on Monday said it will come out with a policy framework within a few months to make Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) more robust. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said her ministry will soon have a think-tank that will enable it to handle the IPR issues more firmly.

‘India does not have an IPR policy. This is the first time we are coming out with an IPR policy. IPR policy issues have been hanging for quite a long time,’ Sitharaman told reporters here. She said the policy will help in dealing with issues being raised by developed nations and protect interest of India on IPR related matters.

‘It will give direction in terms of protecting IPR of India on which several issues are there. With the US we have (certain) issues... India has become a brand in terms of pharma... We are very strong in IPR and we certainly want to protect our interest,’ she added.

Developed nations are picking holes in India's IPR laws because it does not have any policy, Sitharaman said. Asked about the timeline for the new policy, she said it may take about six months. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will put the draft policy on the website for public comments before finalising the policy.

‘India has a well established legal framework for IPR but its important to spell out policy. In the next 2-3 months, we will discuss and debate in country,’ DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said. On the proposed think-tank on IPR, Sitharaman said: ‘We are going to have the benefit of experts, who will constantly keep us informed about developments on international IPR issues, flag off concerns...’
During the recent times, the Obama administration has been strongly criticising India’s investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceuticals and the solar sectors.

India has maintained that its IPR regime is fully compliant with WTO laws and it will not take part in any unilateral investigations by the US on the matter.
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