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India's rank may improve in the international intellectual property index this year with the introduction of national IPR policy adding to its systemic efficiency, a top official at the Global Innovation Policy Center said today.

India languished near the bottom in the index last year, ranking 43rd out of 45 global economies.

The sixth edition of the report brought out by the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) will be released on February 8. This year, the index will map the performance of 50 countries against 40 indicators.

However, the GIPC perceives India's IP systems to be relatively weak compared to other major markets, including other BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) nations. It wants legal certainty especially for attracting investment in research and development in high-risk sectors like pharma.

"You will see that India's performance on our index is very similar to the trend with the Global Innovation Index, with the World Bank Doing Business report. India has gradually climbed the ladder on these so you will find it is a similar trend on our index too. 

"I think it will be a good news for the policymakers here in keeping with the steps that have been taken under the new (IPR) policy," Patrick Kilbride, International Vice President, GIPC told PTI.

He said a new category has been introduced this year on systemic efficiency, which looks at how countries are working to enable domestic entrepreneurs to take advantage of intellectual property (IP) rights, where India is expected to perform quite well. 

Talking about India's national IPR policy, Kilbride said "When a statute makes it likely that a patent will be overturned or it creates that impression of uncertainty then it makes it difficult for the industry to invest in long term high risk, expensive R&D".

He said India has the ability to position itself to take advantage of its strengths in the technology sector and knowledge economy. 

"We think that one element of the (IPR) policy should have to say we need to review our statutory environment for IP and look at how we can bring it up to international standards," Kilbride said on changes required in IPR policy.

Elaborating, he said, there should be a deterrent level of enforcement to have IP rights honoured so that when somebody violates a trademark recourse is available. 

"India's current regime area is uneven. There are remedies available in some places and not others," Kilbride said. 

The Global Intellectual Property Center has been rebranded as the Global Innovation Policy Center.

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/expect-indias-rank-to-improve-in-global-ip-index/articleshow/62524766.cms

NEW DELHI: Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the department of industrial policy and promotion, has launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth.

The competition - IPrism - invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds, it said in a statement.

Another category in the competition is for a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP).

Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementos and certificates.

The competition would also provide the enthusiasts a unique opportunity to see their creations recognised on a national platform.

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/dipp-arm-launches-competition-for-college-students/articleshow/62507176.cms

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States was considering a big "fine" as part of a probe into China's alleged theft of intellectual property, the clearest indication yet that his administration will take retaliatory trade action against China.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn said China had forced U.S. companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there.

The United States has started a trade investigation into the issue, and Cohn said the United States Trade Representative would be making recommendations about it soon.

"We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon," Trump said in the interview.

While Trump did not specify what he meant by a "fine" against China, the 1974 trade law that authorized an investigation into China's alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property allows him to impose retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods or other trade sanctions until China changes its policies. 

Trump said the damages could be high, without elaborating on how the numbers were reached or how the costs would be imposed.

"We're talking about big damages. We're talking about numbers that you haven't even thought about," Trump said. 

US businesses say they lose hundreds of billions of dollars in technology and millions of jobs to Chinese firms which have stolen ideas and software or forced them to turn over intellectual property as part of the price of doing business in China.

The president said he wanted the United States to have a good relationship with China, but Beijing needed to treat the United States fairly. 

Trump said he would be announcing some kind of action against China over trade and said he would discuss the issue during his State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress on Jan. 30.

Asked about the potential for a trade war depending on U.S. action over steel, aluminum and solar panels, Trump said he hoped a trade war would not ensue.

"I don't think so, I hope not. But if there is, there is," he said. 

Jeffrey Schott, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the penalties under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which authorized the investigation into China's intellectual property practices, would likely include a package of both tariffs and restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States.

"I suspect the U.S. measures will involve restrictions in areas where we don't have WTO (World Trade Organization) obligations," Schott said. "Trump likes to talk about tariffs so that may be part of the package too. The Chinese would have the legal right to retaliate against tariff increases."

Throughout his 2016 election campaign, Trump routinely threatened to impose a 45 percent across-the-board tariff on Chinese goods as a way to level the playing field for American workers. At the time, he was also accusing China of manipulating its currency to gain an export advantage, a claim that his administration has since dropped.

Trump said on Wednesday that China stopped meeting the criteria for currency manipulation after his election, and he said making that designation while trying to work with Beijing to rein in North Korea would be tricky.

"How do you say, 'hey, by the way, help me with North Korea and I'm going to call you a currency manipulator?' It really doesn't work," Trump said.

The president also said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had not discussed China's plans with regard to purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. 

The president also said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had not discussed China's plans with regard to purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds.

Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Chinese officials reviewing the country's foreign exchange holdings had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. 

Trump said he was not concerned such a move would hurt the U.S. economy.

"We never talked about it. They have to do what they do," he said. 

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/donald-trump-considers-big-fine-over-china-intellectual-property-theft/articleshow/62550226.cms

Music streaming service Spotify has been sued by a music publishing company for $1.6bn (£1.18bn), for hosting songs it allegedly doesn’t have the full rights to. The news comes at an awkward moment for the tech company, which is reportedly preparing for a stock market sale.

Wixen, a Californian company that collects royalties on behalf of artists including Tom Petty, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and the Doors, alleges that Spotify “took a shortcut” when it cut deals with major labels to host their back catalogues.

The suit states that under the US Copyright Act, each song has two copyright claims: one to the recording, and the other to the composition. Wixen claims that Spotify didn’t obtain the composition rights in their deals, and is seeking damages of $150,000 per song, for over 10,000 songs.

The company is the most successful in the music streaming business, with over 60m paying subscribers. It is reportedly valued at $19bn, and is expected to be floated on the stock market later this year.

According to news website Axios Spotify has filed documents for an initial public offering (IPO) in December. Spotify will reportedly go public under a direct listings – which allows a company to sell stock without the usual investor roadshow and saves on some banking expenses.

If the company lists on the New York Stock Exchange, as expected, it would be the first to do so with a direct listing. NYSE recently changed its rules to accommodate such sales and a successful listing would likely encourage others to follow. Spotify declined to comment on the story.

Nor has the company yet commented on the suit, but it has faced similar claims in the past. In 2015, the company launched a “publishing administration system” to more fully recompense royalty holders, after punk label Victory Records claimed it was missing out on composition royalties, but Spotify has nevertheless faced further lawsuits since. In 2016, it paid over $20m in outstanding royalties to a number of publishers via the National Music Publishers’ Association, while in May 2017, it settled a lawsuit with three small publishers, including the estate of Jaco Pastorius, for over $43m.

Spotify has two outstanding lawsuits filed against it in July 2017, from publishers including Bob Gaudio of the group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/03/spotify-sued-for-16bn-in-unpaid-royalties

CHENNAI: Chrysalis, incorporated as EZ Vidya Pvt. Ltd., a Chennai based educational reform startup, has raised a pre-series A funding round from Indian education sector focused investor Gray Matters Capital

The amount raised will be used by Chrysalis to build on its research and development and to strengthen its multichannel approach leading the company to further target on its goal of improving education in K-12 schools. There are currently 250 million children enrolled in these schools of which 100 million are in the private school segment. 

Chitra Ravi, Founder and CEO, Chrysalis, said, "Our mission is to stand up for the child, by reforming the Indian education system in a way that every child realizes his/her human potential. In our estimation, we have more than 15,00,000 schools failing in this regard. We have established a roadmap to bring in a fundamental change in the system by engaging 5 principal mediums - policy makers, government schools, private schools, parents and public, by open-sourcing our intellectual property selectively.We are committed to this mission and were seeking investors who were aligned to it. We found the right fit in Gray Matters Capital, which has a vision to transform human lives using education as a medium." 

Chrysalis' flagship product is ThinkRoom, a student-centric academic programme based on a 'Human Potential' framework developed through 16 years of pedagogic research.

"We see Chrysalis as one of the most innovative, mission driven and student centric educational enterprises in India, which has the potential of bringing about a tangible change in the way education is imparted in our schools," said Ragini Bajaj Chaudhary, India CEO, Gray Matters Capital, outlining the investment rationale.

Boutique investment bank Unitus Capital acted as a financial advisor to Chrysalis, while impact investment management firm CBA Capital supported Gray Matters Capital in the transaction. 

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/education-reform-startup-chrysalis-raises-pre-series-a-funding/articleshow/62723292.cms

Get your pointer fingers ready: Amazon’s one-click buying process, patented by the Seattle-based company back in the heady days of 1999, expired on Tuesday. And retailers, which until now have either had to not use one-click buying or pay Amazon licensing fees to do so, might be looking to capitalize.

The Amazon 1-Click button lets customers buy things with just one click without having to enter and re-enter billing, payment or shipping information. In the last couple of decades, it has become a major part of Amazon’s checkout process, being extended to other Amazon products like Dash, which was essentially one-click ordering via a small button, and Echo, where customers can buy things with one voice command.

Amazon fiercely protected the 1-Click patent, suing Barnes & Noble for implementing a similar technology back in the late ‘90s and licensing it out to companies including Apple. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even wrote a letter in 2000 that defended Amazon’s patents, opening with, “I’ve received several hundred e-mail messages on the subject of our 1-Click ordering patent. Ninety-nine percent of them were polite and helpful. To the other one percent — thanks for the passion and color!”

The big problem one-click buying eliminates is shopping-cart abandonment. It’s an issue both on mobile and desktop and can represent major revenue losses for retailers. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is about 70 percent, according to a number of studies done this year.

While it’s unclear how much money 1-Click brought Amazon, one estimate, which assumed the technology increased Amazon sales by 5 percent, valued the patent at $2.4 billion annually.

“Amazon sets the standard for e-commerce experiences,” said Eric Mayville, co-founder at ad agency Wondersauce, which works for retail clients including DKNY and Bombas. Mayville pointed out that Shopify, for example, has tried to mimic 1-Click with a workaround where if you buy something on one site, for instance, it’ll recognize you on another. Still, it’s not foolproof.

“For Bombas, for example, even if you only buy socks once in a while, the fact that you can’t buy with a single click isn’t great,” said Mayville. “Getting something like 1-Click in place is definitely important, but Amazon is looking toward things like predictive AI to figure out when you’re going to run out of toilet paper and send you another dozen rolls proactively. So 1-Click would be table stakes in the big picture for brands that have routine or even seasonal purchase repetition like Bombas.”

It’s certainly on the wish list for most retailers. One retailer that declined to speak on the record said he’s finding a large percentage of orders being lost because the process after clicking “purchase” or “add to bag” is too long. He hopes he can now implement one-click buying on his site. And if e-commerce providers like Demandware or Shopify can add one-click payments to their offerings for retailers, it would be a marked improvement in conversions, executives said.

At Shopify, the company is focused on accelerating the checkout flow, said Mohammad Hashemi, director of product and payments. The company didn’t elaborate on whether it plans to implement one-click buying but said it recently developed its own accelerated payment feature, called Shopify Pay, which makes checkout completion 40 percent quicker.

Many retail executives also say one-click payments could be especially beneficial for retailers that sell slightly smaller-ticket items, like in online grocery. “It could potentially be beneficial in online grocery, where consumers are pantry loading and buying things they need every week instead of browsing for product info,” said Angela Edwards, vp of marketing and client services at conversion marketing agency Catapult.

Others, including Amazon competitors, have already noticed the 1-Click patent’s expiration. Last year, a group of companies in the alliance known as the World Wide Web Consortium, including Apple, Facebook and American Express, started working on standards to implement one-click purchasing. Google is also reportedly working on a one-click payment solution. 

How Valuable is Amazon’s 1-Click Patent? It’s Worth Billions

Since 1999, the 1-Click patent has generated billions of dollars in revenue for Amazon.com.

1-Click shopping removes the single biggest friction point for completing an online purchase: the checkout process.

Amazon filed the 1-Click patent in 1997 and it was granted by the USPTO in 1999. In fairly broad terms, it protects any E-commerce transaction executed with one-click using stored customer credentials to validate.

The result of this “innovation” is that Amazon achieves extremely high conversion from its existing customers. Since the customer’s payment and shipping information is already stored on Amazon’s servers, it creates a checkout process that is virtually frictionless.

But, wait a minute.

Is Amazon doing the rest of the world a disservice by enforcing a patent that makes the experience of shopping online so much more enjoyable?  No more fumbling through my wallet for a credit card, payment errors, multi-page checkout or silly upsells. Isn’t this the way the world should be? And doesn’t the idea of 1-Click checkout seem to be pretty obvious?

As is the problem with most software patents, Amazon was able to protect a fairly broad concept. The patent protects a “business method” vs. a specific invention. Not to mention, 1-Click technology could be helpful to every other U.S. online retailer in existence.

The Europeans agree. Amazon was never able to get the patent granted in the Europe in the first place. They’ve been appealing the decision since 2001 and were rejected again in 2011.

Despite the controversy, you can’t argue with that fact that this patent allows Amazon to provide a customer experience that is vastly superior to any other retailer in the U.S.  Why wouldn’t they protect that? Despite Amazon’s unwillingness to share, they are willing to “partner” with other retailers for a price.

Apple licensed Amazon’s 1-Click technology in 2000.  Apple felt that frictionless checkout was so important; it incorporated the tech into iTunes, iPhoto and the Apple App Store.  How many times have you impulsively bought a song on iTunes or downloaded a new iPhone app without even a second thought? You can thank US 5960411 for that Holiday Angry Birds download. Instant purchase drives orders. There’s no question.

But, our original question was how much?

In 2011, Amazon did $48.1 Billion in revenue. Let’s assume that 1-Click increases Amazon’s sales by 5% each year. That’s an additional $2.4 Billion in annual revenue due to 1-Click. For the 12 months ending March 31, 2012 Amazon’s operating margin was 1.7%. That’s an additional $40.8 Million in operating income. And that number doesn’t include the licensing fees collected from Apple.

Together with Amazon Prime, Amazon has put forth what are probably the two biggest game changing products in online retail over the past two decades. The 1-Click patent is scheduled to expire in 2017, but my guess is that Amazon doesn’t really care.

They’ve already got their next innovation on the horizon: Same-day delivery. With that dagger, one has to ask if Amazon will put an end to local brick & mortar retail for good.

Sources : https://digiday.com/marketing/end-era-amazons-one-click-buying-patent-finally-expires/

http://rejoiner.com/resources/amazon-1clickpatent/

When it comes to promoting innovation, India is already taking the lead among emerging economies. Earlier this year, GoI launched the India Innovation Index, which ranks its states on innovation through an online portal. Then, in June, it unveiled an action plan for the Scheme for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Awareness, an important part of implementing the 2016 National IPR Policy.

Now, GoI is working to develop an IP exchange to better capitalise on, and support, existing patents. India’s states are also taking steps towards innovation. For example, Punjab recently welcomed India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Centre —a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) initiative to stimulate a vibrant conversation on IPR protection.

Emerge and Shine

These innovation-led growth strategies give India the opportunity to serve as an example for other emerging economies. According to a new Harvard University study, India is expected to remain among the fastest-growing economies with an estimated annual growth rate of 7.7% until 2025. Simultaneously, the 2017 Global Innovation Index — a joint initiative by business school Insead, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), and Cornell University — ranked India 60 out of 127 countries, indicating steady progress from its rank of 81in 2015.

However, a recent report by Niti Aayog-IDFC Institute that analyses state-wise development shows that job growth, particularly good quality job creation, remains a challenge. India will need to continue reforming to sustain its economic growth trajectory.

It will need to create one million jobs a month, invest heavily in research and development, and integrate into the global value chain quickly. If its economy falters, India risks falling into the ‘middle-income trap’ — the point when rapidly growing countries are susceptible to a loss of economic momentum or even stagnation.

They are trapped in an impasse: they are no longer low-income, low-wage, resource-driven economies, but have failed to make the transition to high-income, high-innovation economies. This is when economic growth plateaus. The Brazilian and South African experiences are cases in point.

To realise India’s innovation vision, and to avoid the middle-income trap, GoI must first fix the gaps in its National IPR Policy: the key to the growth of innovative and creative industries. An effective IPR framework is indispensable to attract foreign investors, disseminate creativity and encourage local innovators to invest in their own ideas.

India can further sharpen its National IPR Policy to realise the innovation-growth relationship by capitalising on specific sectors, such as its flourishing generic drugs industry and the thriving services sector. For instance, the policy should help India foster an environment that welcomes and protects life sciences investments, one that recognises genuine inventive steps in drug formulations.

As for services, the removal of the restrictive novel hardware requirement for computer-related inventions is an encouraging step towards recognising the patentability of all forms of technology. However, greater clarity on patentability can supplement GoI’s ‘Startup India’ initiative.

Furthermore, GoI must follow through on updating legislative infrastructure in a way that enables domestic and foreign innovators to protect their trade secrets and accelerate technology transfers. As GoI looks to address the shortcomings in its innovation and IP policies, it can also examine three opportunities more closely.

First, India can encourage and enhance a streamlined, market-based licensing business model for greater technology diffusion. New research from a joint study by the US Chamber of Commerce and Pugatch Consilium (goo.gl/j8YH4H) indicates a strong relationship between effective licensing and innovative technology diffusion, job creation and economic growth.

Learn From (Their) Mistakes

The study also shares examples from China, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, where a mix of administrative hurdles, legal barriers and coercive licensing issues pose serious barriers to technology diffusion. India can innovate by eliminating its peers’ failed policies.

Second, India could consider strengthening its patent system and remove price control mechanisms on medical innovations. According to a 2016 study by the London School of Economics (goo.gl/1aq44C), policies that strengthen patent protection and remove price controls significantly reduce drug launch time and accelerate drug diffusion.

This data must be taken into consideration, especially as GoI considers extending price controls to more drugs along with the recent inclusion of orthopaedic knee implants to its list of medical devices. Also, additional price controls proposed in the recent draft pharmaceutical policy is at cross-purposes with the ultimate goal of spurring innovative research and improving drug quality.

Finally, India’s transition from pro innovation messaging to innovation-led growth merits the effective communication of benefits to all stakeholders.

The growing introduction of IPR education in Indian law schools is welcome. GoI should collaborate increasingly with foreign law institutions to adopt IPR curricula in line with global best practices. It could work with the private sector to disseminate the positive outcomes of any joint collaboration, including, for instance, Pfizer’s innovation accelerator programme, Qualcomm’s ‘Design in India’ initiative, or partnerships with GoI’s Jan Aushadhi programme.

Strong IP standards can fuel the growth of domestic innovative industries, help attract greater foreign investment and bolster India’s economic prosperity. They can also provide an example to other emerging economies by showing how innovation leads to growth.

Source : https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/strong-ip-standards-can-lead-to-innovation-which-in-turn-can-lead-to-jobs-and-growth/

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet today cleared MoU signing between India and Sweden on intellectual property right (IPR) cooperation, aimed at benefiting entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses. 

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the memorandum of understanding (MoU), an official statement said. 

This will enable India to exchange experiences in innovation and IP ecosystems. 

"The MoU establishes a wide-ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programmes and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights," the statement read. 

The government hopes that the MoU signing will further the objective of National IPR Policy, 2016, and sees it as a landmark step towards becoming a major player in global innovation.

Exchange of best practices between the two nations will improve protection and awareness about India's various intellectual creations -- which are as diverse as its people -- the statement added.

As part of the MoU, a joint coordination committee with members from both sides will be established to exchange best practices, experiences, and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of India and Sweden. 

Among others, there will be collaboration for training programmes, technical and expertise exchanges, exchange on best practices, experiences and IP knowledge with the industry, universities, research and development organisation and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

There will be "exchange of information and best practices for disposal of applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights and geographical indications, as also the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights" 

The MoU will also cover cooperation in automation and modernisation projects, new documentation and information system in IP and procedures for management of intellectual property. 

The official statement said it will also cover exchange of information and best practices on intellectual property law infringements in digital environment, especially copyright issues, besides other activities decided upon by both the parties.

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60089345.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Bengaluru: HCL Technologies has taken an unconventional route to partially offset the slowing down of its traditional workhorse - infrastructure management services (IMS).

India's fourth-largest IT services firm has pumped in $780 million into five IP (intellectual property) partnerships with IBM. The spend on these IP deals, signed over the last five quarters, surpasses the company's capital expenditure in the four years beginning 2013-14 ($695.4 million). The partnership has so far yielded revenue of a little over $200 million.

The IP deals are part of a 15-year engagement with IBM for automation and DevOps solutions. Some part of the investment will be amortised over the period of the engagement (amortisation of intangibles reduces the value of the intangible assets over time).

Based on HCL's estimated annual amortisation expense schedule for intangible assets, the outstanding amortisation beyond 2022 is $510 million. A financial analyst, who did not want to be named, said the bulk of the amortisation is going beyond 2022 and given that obsolescence is very high in the technology space, the carrying value seems very optimistic. The amortisation will have an impact on the company's net profit going forward.

HCL had entered into a similar joint venture a few years ago with the erstwhile CSC (now DXC) to modernise and run applications on one of the old core banking platforms, Hogan. However, the JV didn't take off as expected.

Jimit Arora, who leads Everest Group's IT services research practice, said in the future of IT services, ecosystems will be key to the relevance of companies. He said a variety of models will evolve, including frenemies / co-opetitors. "The notion that any company can do it all themselves will be self-destructive. The IBM-HCL partnership and the earlier IBM-CSC partnership are all examples of this same model. In general, we see IBM seeking to monetise its assets and divest the portions of the portfolio that don't fundamentally align to a cognitive world," he said.

IBM has signed over 19 IP partnerships over the past two years, including the five with HCL.

"In a digital first world, HCL needs to develop stronger competencies in areas such as DevOps, UX (user experience) modernisation, APIs, automation, etc. Think of the `capital investment' as a way to obtain the IP-licenses which are expected to have a longer-term revenue impact," Arora said.

HCL has signed partnerships in areas including workload automation, web services enablement for mainframes, and information and database management. "Whether this `acquisition' plays out the way HCL wants - it is too early to tell. But the capabilities it brings and the value proposition of a full stack solution for the client is compelling and allows HCL to focus on services without fundamentally having to pivot to a product company," said Arora.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/hcl-puts-780m-in-ip-tie-up-with-ibm/articleshow/60067701.cms

The government announced a new intellectual property rights policy (IPR) on Friday which will speed up the online registration of patents and trademarks but resisted pressure from the US and other Western countries to amend the country's patent laws to give more leeway to multinational pharmaceutical companies.

The policy aims to spread awareness among the public about trademarks, copyrights, and patents to promote innovation within the country, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley told the media here.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, global drug brands led by US companies have been pushing for changes to India's intellectual property rules. These MNCs have often complained about India's price controls and marketing restrictions. Observing that every country is entitled to defend its economic interest, Jaitley said, "Monopolies are loved by those who own monopolies."

The policy will try to safeguard interests of rights owners with the wider public interest while combating infringement of intellectual property rights, Jaitley added. Besides, the registration process for trademarks will be reduced to one month by 2017. Last month, the US trade representative kept India, China, and Russia on its 'Priority Watch List' for inadequate improvement in IPR protection. However, Jaitley said that India would retain the right to issue compulsory licenses to its drug firms under "emergency" conditions and would not immediately need to change patent laws that are already fully compliant with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The finance minister said, "One must encourage the invention of life-saving drugs and at the same time we must also be conscious of the need to make them available at a reasonable cost so that drug cost does not become prohibitive as has become in some parts of the world. We do believe that the balancing act which India has struck is responsible for life-saving drugs available at a reasonable cost in India compared to the rest of the world. So, our model seems to be both legal, equitable and WTO-compliant."

Defending India's stand, Jaitley said that availability of medicines at the reasonable cost is necessary adding that the patent period beyond 20 years can be extended only if there is a fresh invention and not a marginal alteration.

"So, ours is a very balanced approach, which I said balances it with consideration of innovation and public health consideration," he emphasized.

Developed countries have raised questions about Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970, and compulsory licensing saying the norms restrict innovation. The section does not allow the patent to be granted to inventions involving new forms of a known substance unless it differs significantly in properties with regard to efficacy. "... marginal alterations which are of non-significant medicinal value do not entitle you to a new patent. Only a significant change will entitle to the patent," Jaitley said.

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-unveils-fresh-intellectual-property-rights-but-resists-pressure-from-the-west/1/667962.html