India will soon have a new IPR policy, says Sitharaman

India will soon have a new IPR policy, says Sitharaman

In a few months from now, India will have a new policy on Intellectual Property (IP) regime in place to give more protection to domestic industry. The government will also set up a think tank to deal with IPR issues with a firm handle.

“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,”   Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.

“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 said.

The United States and European Union have been strongly criticising India’s investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceuticals and the solar sectors.

The Minister, however, did not clarify whether the concerns raised by the US and the EU on certain provisions of the Indian Patent Act that led to the rejection of patents filed by multinational pharmaceutical companies, would be taken into consideration.
“The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion  ill put up a consultation paper on its Web site and would invite comments from the public,” DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said.

“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," Kant said.
To a question on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, Sitharaman said the BJP Government was categorically against it. However, she said the ministry did not feel the need to scrap the existing policy that permits 51 per cent foreign investment in the sector.

“There is no conflict in our minds. We are clear that we do want FDI in multi-brand retail. It is just that we do not see there is a need for us to come out with any notification specifying this as we are not sitting on applications,” the minister said.

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