Intellectual Property Rights in India: Innovation and Competitiveness in the Indian Context
by Amit Kapoor and Sankalp Sharma
NBR Working Paper, 2015
This paper looks at the broad contours of India's current intellectual property rights (IPR) regime and offers an assessment of the current situation as well as scenarios for continued advancement.
In looking at the needs for India's next stage of growth, both industry and policymakers are focusing on strategies for fostering capacity for innovation. The link between innovation and competitiveness can be clearly demonstrated at a national level, and at a subnational level there is also a growing need for understanding the dynamics of innovation and to take requisite steps accordingly. With this in mind, a stable IPR regime is the foundation of a globally competitive nation, drawing in investments, specifically from FDI. Ultimately, India will do well in the long term if it enables a robust IP ecosystem and protects the IP of its own companies. It will also provide a stable framework for multinational companies wanting to enter India. Yet there are some critical impediments, which have hampered prospects for broader acceptance of IPR norms, and if addressed may enable greater economic cooperation between countries.
The first public draft of the national IP policy seeks to clear the air on a lot of issues pertaining to the Indian IPR regime and is a step in the right direction.
Future steps that could help improve the acceptability of a more robust IPR regime include actions such as establishing a special IP court with trained human resources and ensuring protection for trade secrets, as well as research that can better highlight the linkage between IP and innovation.
At present there are very few policies aimed at bettering IP and innovation potential in Indian states. Such regimes could augur well for an improvement in the investments under these regimes.
The paper looks at the overarching laws and protections afforded to specific types of IP in India. It examines the present scenario, both theoretically as well as through data and analysis, to provide a quick assessment of India's present IPR regime. Also, bringing to light a case study of fostering innovation in India's pharmaceutical sector. The paper lastly concludes by putting forth solutions for removing bottlenecks and helping India to create a more robust and stable IPR regime.