The Indian Patent System and Its Conflict with US Norms

The Indian Patent System and Its Conflict with US Norms

The Indian Patent System and Its Conflict with US Norms – Today Current Affairs

What is the issue?

In a recent report, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) stated that India is one of the most difficult economies to protect and enforce intellectual property.

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How is India’s patent regime?

The Indian Patent Act of 1970 governs Indian patents.Patents are granted under the legislation if the innovation meets the following criteria:

  • It must be unique.
  • It must have novel steps or be non-obvious.
  • It should be suitable for industrial use.
  • It should not be subject to Sections 3 and 4 of the Patents Act of 1970.

Following its admission to the World Trade Organization in 1995, India became a party to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

The original Indian Patents Act did not offer patent protection to pharmaceutical items, but it was amended in 2005 to comply with TRIPS and was reintroduced after the 2005 revision.India has also ratified a number of IPR treaties, notably the Berne Convention (governs copyright). The Hindu Analysis

India has also ratified a number of IPR treaties, notably the Berne Convention (governs copyright),The Treaty of Budapest,The International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Convention)

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

What were the challenges raised by USTR? The Hindu Analysis

The USTR publishes the Special 301 Report on intellectual property (IP) every year.

It places trading partners on the Priority Watch List or Watch List if they do not adequately/effectively defend and enforce IP rights or deny market access to U.S. inventors and creators who rely on IP protection. The Hindu Analysis

The United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) ‘Priority Watch List’ continues to include India due to a lack of appropriate IP rights protection and enforcement.

Concerns have been expressed about what can be patented, how long it takes to get a patent, reporting requirements, and data security.

The US Trade Representative also raised concerns about the danger of patent revocation, the lack of a presumption of patent validity, and the narrowness of patentability requirements. The Hindu Analysis

Despite the passage of the Commercial Courts Act in 2015, the USTR study raised concerns about judicial delays.

It has also indicated opposition to the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, which would abolish IPAB.

What is India’s stance on the issue? The Hindu Analysis

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on IPR conducted a ‘Review of the Intellectual Property Rights Regime in India’ to address the challenges.

Section 3 and Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act deal with what does not qualify as an invention under the Act.  The Hindu Analysis

The clause serves as a protection against spurious inventions, avoiding patent “evergreening,” according to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

By patenting only innovative and genuine inventions, Section 3(d) provides for generic competition. The Hindu Analysis

According to the report, it ensures the growth of generic medication manufacturers and public access to affordable medicines.

The Committee cites the Novartis vs. Union of India decision, which affirmed the constitutionality of section 3(d) and found it to be in compliance with the TRIPS agreement and the Doha Declaration.

What is the Doha Declaration? The Hindu Analysis

The WTO member states endorsed the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health in 2021.

It recognises the seriousness of public health issues confronting developing and least developed countries, and emphasizes the need of TRIPS as part of broader national and international efforts to address these issues.

Among these options are:

  • The authority to award obligatory licences and the conditions under which such licences may be granted
  • The authority to determine what constitutes a national emergency or other extreme situations, such as public health emergencies.
  • The right to create its own framework for intellectual property rights exhaustion.

What positive steps were taken by India regarding IPR? The Hindu Analysis

Accession to treaties- One of India’s recent positive initiatives has been to join the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

In 2018, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) signed the WIPO Copyright Treaty (also known as the WIPO Internet Treaties).

To eliminate redundancy of information submission by patent applicants in India, India produced a revised Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure in 2019 and a revised Form 27 on patent working in 2020.

After the IPAB was abolished, the Delhi High Court established an IP division in 2021, for which draft regulations have been made available for public opinion.

The Cell for Intellectual Property Rights Promotion and Management (CIPAM) has been working to raise IP awareness in India.


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Plutus IAS Daily Current Affairs Eng med 14th June 

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