The 2015 Index published by the Global Intellectual Property Center has placed India in the second last position in the list of countries ranked according to their IP robustness. This dismal performance reiterates the necessity to bring appropriate measures into place in order to improve the nation’s IP framework.
The ruling BJP party was always a staunch supporter of improved innovation and IP, and still continues to voice its support for these two arenas, considering the fact that they are considered very essential for the country’s continuous business and economic growth.
India’s current IP scenario is anything but impressive, thanks to the many roadblocks and weak laws that continue to discourage the industry. Issues pertaining to patent denials and revocations also plague investors who are apprehensive of investing in the Indian market. The nation’s patent ability standards are also much lower than established best practices worldwide. Added to all these are other issues like physical/online piracy and a challenging environment that make India’s IP scenario very bleak.
India needs to set major improvement goals for its IP system in order to change the current system. It would need to assure companies that their IP would be protected and safeguarded.
This would essentially start by introducing stronger support policies, legislation arrangements and legal decisions that would boost investment in IP. These measures would increase India’s IP standards to those of the best practices followed by countries like the UK and the US.
India would also need to develop appropriate policies and incentives that would encourage and promote homegrown innovation. The government would need to set up the proper environment and infrastructure along with strong IP protection measures to encourage companies to follow the ‘Make in India’ campaign. It should also set up tangible policies to make it easier for foreign investors to commit to these India based companies on a long term basis.
The recently concluded bilateral talks between India and the US could pave the way for the nation to start laying the foundation for more concrete steps to streamline the existing IP process. This would include offering essential administrative and judicial support that would aid in providing fair and transparent solutions to a variety of patent ability and compulsory licensing issues. These policies would both make India an investor rich country, and bring it to the notice of other countries like the US which would favor the country for its innovation driven approach.
India’s Intellectual Property policies still rank among the lowest in the world. In order to turn this around, India would need to focus on strengthening its IP standards to reach international standards, a factor that would boost foreign investments and economic growth considerably.