CII feels International IP Index does not give true picture of India's IP ecosystem
Commenting on the Global Intellectual Property Centre's International IP Index 2014 which presents India as the weakest among 25 countries, the Confederation of Indian Industry on Tuesday said the index does not represent the true picture of India's IP ecosystem. CII also expressed concern about the suggestion of designating India Priority Foreign Country, the classification given to foreign countries that "deny adequate and effective" protection of intellectual property rights. CII believes that the Supreme Court judgment denying Novartis a patent under section 3(d) of Indian Patents Act and Indian Controller General of Patent's decision invoking Compulsory Licensing (CL) in favour of NATCO for producing Bayer's patented cancer drug have been done as per the provisions of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement as India's patent laws are fully TRIPS compatible. The introduction of Section 3(d) by India is a reasonable decision. This Section permits incremental innovations, provided it meets the criteria of efficacy. Unlike laws elsewhere where such definitions are ambiguous and the courts have been left to interpret efficacy and innovations, India has put in place a clear definition of what constitutes inventiveness. The intent is linking this with therapeutic efficacy, which is not only legitimate under TRIPS, but is also helpful in meeting the aspirations under the Doha declaration on public health. Many countries including USA have activated Compulsory Licensing or similar laws to successfully meet their national requirements. India's position on compulsory licensing is not different, in principle, from what has been stipulated in the Paris Convention and TRIPS. How the principles of CL are applied would vary from country to country and many such examples are available globally. The first CL in India was issued last year and has been endorsed by the Appellate Board. It may be noted that the process of issuing CL is complex and many factors need to be evaluated before a decision is arrived at. However, CII recommends a close monitoring of post compulsory license actions taken by the licensee as everyone is looking towards the effective implementation of the recently issued CL. CII is confident that the desired objectives of issuing the CL will be met. There are enough examples in India where Indian courts, Intellectual Property Appellate Board and Indian Patent Office have decided in favour of MNCs and against Indian companies in cases related to 3(d) and Compulsory Licensing. As per the methodology adopted in GIPC International IP Indexing, India has got 6.95 marks out of 30. CII has critically analyzed the methodology and markings done in the report. India has got 1.75 marks out of 21 marks on "mixed indicators" which are primarily perception based and not on facts and figures. Hence, CII felt that the methodology adopted in this report needs substantial rationalization. CII is committed to propagate and promote the role of IPR in leveraging competitive advantage by the Indian industries. It has always supported strong protection of IPR in India. In this connection CII has been working closely with the Government of India for framing and implementation of IPR policies apart from helping industry, institutions, grass-root innovators and communities in protecting and leveraging IPR for economic and social development.
(Posted on 12-02-2014)