New IPR policy to boost innovation, patent filings

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) While domestic applications to the Indian patents office had remained low at about one-fifth of the total filings, a new policy on intellectual property rights (IPR) should help the situation, a top official said on Wednesday.

“I am concerned that domestic filings of patent applications have remained static in the past few years at about 20 percent of total filings,” Amitabh Kant, the secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said here at an IPR Conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“Considering that the country has one of the largest reservoirs of scientists and technologists, it seems extremely unjustified that the levels of patent filings are still fairly low,” he said, adding there was need to widen the awareness about intellectual property (IP) in the country.

The national Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy, currently being prepared, would help India become an innovative economy over the next decade, he said.

“We expect it to be a visionary document that can guide the journey of India towards becoming an innovative economy in the next 10 years.”

A draft policy was placed in the public domain, inviting comments from stakeholders and others interested, he added.

Kant, however, stressed the importance of creating an innovative ecosystem which would support translation of inventions into commercial use.

“This innovation ecosystem can only be created and nurtured through initiatives of the government in collaboration with industry,” the secretary said.

He also urged organisations to protect their trademarks as it would help them leverage their brand value towards development of the business.

Kant said Indian IPR laws were amended in compliance with the World Trade Organisation, which had led to a comprehensive, legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs.

He also said that the government has taken several measures to improve the delivery of services provided by IP office, such as processing of applications.

Nearly 250,000 patent applications and 532,000 trademark registrations are pending with the government owing to shortage of manpower.

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