Innovation for Nation
Today, the world is facing an unprecedented crisis where almost all countries are struggling. Such crises often push for revisiting existing norms and notions, and sometimes even provoking thought process for changing knowledge and power centres. The current pandemic situation has initiated changes in thinking patterns of various countries in terms of their power, resources, and innovation status. India too has shown up as one amongst a new world’s leaders at various fronts while many developed countries have failed to manage the worst pandemic situation.
India has always been a land of sages, Gurus, skills, art and culture. It has a proud history where the royal courts have included skilled artisans proudly calling them as Jewels or Navratnas. This was the era of Glorious India. With time passing, this centre of knowledge, skills and innovations shifted to western part of the world. Our indigenous skills got replaced by machines which were entirely of foreign origin. Eventually, the tag of Glorious India started fading and got lost and somehow, we also undermined our own skills and rich cultural heritage.
At this juncture, the way of doing Business is changing around the globe. In this changing situation we are evaluating the status whether India is ready and aimed at regaining and reclaiming the image of glorious India and leading the world ecosystem.
The last decade is a witness of many changes in Intellectual Property (IP) Laws and associated business laws that have created a healthy fertile land where the crop of glory is ready to bloom. India has started changing at ground when the 2012 amendments made Indian Copyright Law compliant with the Internet Treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and ease of filing has been revamped in the year 2012 through the Comprehensive Online IP Filing Services. Further, in July 2013, India became the 90th Member of Madrid System, followed by October 15th, 2013, when India started working as International Search Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA), a step towards setting place in the league of one of the best IP Offices in the world. Although, these changes were improvements at procedural front, however, this has impacted a lot in shifting the Indian IP regime towards global standards.
The years 2014-2016 are remembered for the integrated development of IP and Business Laws in India. The unique business mantras were introduced like ‘Make in India’, ‘StartUp India’, Digital India, Skill India, Standup India, which inoculated the seed of Indian economical growth. The first National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016 was adopted on May 12th, 2016 as a vision document to guide future development of IPRs in the country. The National IPR Policy has given a strong reason for incubating the idea of Innovation for Nation. To take forward the implementation of the National IPR Policy, awareness about IPRs, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize in entire India, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) was created in the year 2016.
On May 3, 2018, Govt. of India through an Ordinance amended the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015. The amendment was an attempt to expand the scope of commercial courts in India and to separate courts with different procedures for resolving all commercial and IP disputes. This was a bold step with an aim to improve India’s ranking on the ‘ease of doing business index’. In line with the very idea of nurturing the innovation and Startup culture in Higher Education Institutions, National Innovation and Startup Policy 2019 for students and faculties of Higher Education Institutions was implemented.
All in all, these major changes in IP and Business Laws are enabling a robust innovation ecosystem in India where the fruit of IP generation, protection, enforcement, and monetization is ripening.
Shifting Laws & Objectives
The procedural steps taken prior to the year 2014 were crucial to give the affirmation of India in global IP regime while the steps taken after the year 2013 were catalytic in the growth and proliferation of Indian IP system towards glorious India. The major objectives and implementation of some of the IP and Business Laws are enumerated below:
- Make in India
The primary goal of Make in India is to make India a global manufacturing hub by facilitating and promoting local and global companies to manufacture their products in the territory of India. To foster various goals, Make in India is currently promoting foreign direct investment, infrastructure, implementing intellectual property rights and developing the manufacturing sector. It targets 25 sectors of the economy which range from automobile to aviation and mining to space.
- Startup India
The primary goal of Startup India is to build a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation, entrepreneurship, and Startup culture in the country that will imbibe long sustainable socio-economic growth opportunities. The Government through this initiative aims to empower Startups to grow through innovation and design. The highlights of this scheme include simplifying the process of doing business in India along with handholding to startups and entrepreneurs, funding supports and incentives on the basis of their innovations skills and patents, fostering industry-institution partnership, and providing incubation ecosystem to various technical sectors.
- Skill India
India is a land of largest population of young minds and to cater them, Skill India is launched with an aim to train over 500 million Indians in different industry-related jobs. The vision is to create an empowered skill workforce with the help of various schemes and online-offline training courses. The idea is to train young people to fulfil the demand of Indian Industry and to create an empowered result-oriented task force in India. The objective of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is to enable youth to take up short term or long term industry oriented training in order to secure a better livelihood.
- National IPR Policy
National IPR Policy is implemented to provide country’s vision and mission towards benefit of Intellectual Property in creativity and innovation. This policy is an amalgamation of true India towards advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources. The aim is to foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural development, and to focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance. The National IPR Policy has seven main objectives:
- IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion
- Generation of IPRs
- Legal and Legislative Framework
- Administration and Management
- Commercialization of IPR
- Enforcement and Adjudication
- Human Capital Development
India is struggling since decades on inadequate knowledge about the IP rights and its protection. To implement the mission objectives of National IPR Policy, CIPAM has been implemented to work towards creating public awareness about IPRs in the country, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize their IP assets and coordinating the implementation of the National IPR Policy in collaboration with Government Ministries/Departments and other stakeholders.
- National Innovation and Startup Policy
The National Innovation and Startup Policy 2019 is implemented for students and faculty of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This is a guiding framework to enable the Indian institutes to actively engage students, faculties and staff in innovation and entrepreneurship related activities. This Policy came at a right time to reboot and revitalize the Indian R&D Institutions. The Policy framework is somehow similar to the Bayh-Dole Act of USA and was long awaited.
While implementing these laws and practices, India is regaining shape of glorious India. The various statistical data reflects the mode of regaining and reclaiming the image of glorious India and the fast-changing ecosystem.
In last 5-6 years, the IP filing trends in India have been improved which reflect the effects of the various measures taken by the government on IP and business laws. Comparing year to year, from 2013-2014 to 2018-19, the number of patent filings has increased to 18% whereas trademark filings has increased to 65%. The design filing trends also indicate increment of to 45%. The current data implies that this is a high time to reinforce the lost legacy. Some of statistical changes are given below:
The change in scenario in last 5-6 years indicates that we are at least attempting to find ways to regain the glory lost long ago. Over the past 70+ years, India has had access to many opportunities and available resources. However, we have not fully utilised these as yet. We believe these steps taken by the country can lead the way forward positively and to help us to achieve our full potential in terms of effective utilization of our indigenous intellect. Nations like China and Singapore have shown the way. Somewhere, India forgot to sow the seeds on it’s highly fertile land, deliberately or otherwise. To reap the best harvest, a path of innovation and restructuring must be identified and pursued.