India has strong IPR laws: Boeing

New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) India has very strong laws on intellectual property rights (IPR) and Boeing does not see a threat of violation of these rights in the country, the US aviation major’s India counsel said on Saturday.

“I do not say this because India is the largest market for us outside the US but because India indeed has modern IPR laws and is a signatory to most international treaties related to intellectual property rights,” Akhil Prasad, country counsel for Boeing, said here at a national consultation workshop on standard-setting and innovation in the ICT sector.

Addressing a session on boosting the innovation climate in India, Prasad said Boeing has clocked $10 billion worth of sales in India and looks at the country with optimism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month announced that India would have a comprehensive national IPR policy by the year-end.

“I am personally convinced and want to assure you that India is committed to protecting Intellectual Property Rights of all innovators and entrepreneurs,” Modi said in a statement on November 13.

“We have taken several initiatives for transparency and online processing in IP administration. A comprehensive national IPR policy is being finalised,” he added.

On the sidelines of the event organised by Jindal Initiative for Research in Intellectual Property and Competition (JIRICO), at the O.P Jindal Global University in Sonipat, Haryana, Prasad told IANS: “Where India needs to work on to boost the innovation climate is the area of enforcement.

“The country needs to have specialised courts to deal with IPR issues quickly and take measures to stop parallel imports and availability of pirated products.”

In a special lecture, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat of the Delhi High Court said jurisprudence on IPR in India was still evolving, and the country was yet to build comprehensive jurisprudence on the issue.

“In India, the regulatory place is fragmented and therefore we do not see a unified structure,” Bhat said.

He, however, cautioned that while building a comprehensive jurisprudence, policy-makers must take note of the fact that lack of intellectual protection can douse the flames of creativity, and overprotection too can kill innovation.

On the occasion, Pravin Anand, managing partner for Anand and Anand, a leading full service intellectual property firm, said India needs to do more to protect the creative class which was much smaller in number compared to the business and the user class.

“When creators see their work being copied without being adequately compensated, they lose the passion to innovate,” Anand said.

Pratibha Singh, senior advocate and member of the national IPR think tank constituted by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the commerce and industry ministry in 2014 to draft the national IPR policy, said that IPR jurisprudence in India was evolving in a very balanced manner.

“Patent litigation in India will boom in the next 20 years,” she said.

Other panelists at the workshop included Shamnad Basheer, honorary research professor at Nirma University in Gujarat, and Lakshmikumaran, managing partner for law firm Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan, and other economists, lawyers, and corporate leaders.

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