The first draft of the National IPR Policy dated December 19, 2014 was made available to the public   amidst all the curiosity regarding the content of this policy and also the controversy concerning the basis of selection of the members of the Think Tank. We had earlier written about how the Think Tank came into being and the tasks that were entrusted to the panel. The DIPP Public Notice of November 13, 2014 had called upon interested persons to submit their comments on the National IPR Policy. However, we are not aware if the comments that were submitted  were in fact taken into consideration by the Think Tank while drafting the policy.

The proposed National IPR Policy has laid down seven objectives that the government should target and the necessary steps involved in order to achieve these objectives. A gist of these objectives and what is proposed is as follows:

  1. Awareness and Promotion

There has been a great deal of emphasis on the monetization of intellectual property and the need to create awareness among people and industries (especially R&D entities and educational institutions) on benefits of IP. On these lines, the Think Tank proposes that the government should target lesser visible IP generators in the rural areas and educate them on IP assets. With reference to mass awareness programs, initiatives through print, electronic and social media have been suggested.

  1. Creation of IP

It is proposed that a base line survey be conducted using data from all the stakeholders in order to identify actual potential and untapped areas on innovation and facilitate them accordingly. It has been noted that the profile of IP filings is one of the clear indicators of the current status and accordingly, steps can be taken to improve the percentage of filings by Indians. Some of the noteworthy initiatives suggested were:

  • Including IP creation as a key performance metric for public funded R&D entities, institutions and also researchers in order to encourage them to create IP
  • Focus on the agricultural sector
  • Establishment of IP facilitation centres at all levels
  • Inclusion of protection for ‘utility models’ to encourage small inventions
  • Introduction of ‘first-time Patent’ fee waiver
  1. Legal and Legislative Framework

There has been suggestion to review the existing laws and remove any inconsistencies and anomalies. There has been an emphasis on the need to provide protection for Trade Secrets under the law and allow Utility Models as Patents. Most importantly, the Think Tanks has suggested that for future policy, any ambiguities or inconsistencies between IP laws and other laws need to be dealt with.

  1. Administration and Management

At the outset, it has been suggested that the law officers handling IP issues need to be sensitized to understand the objective of the IP laws, international obligations through training and audit of their work. Some of the key suggestions have been,

  • Adequate autonomy to IP offices
  • Increase in manpower, however the emphasis is on recruiting the best talent
  • Modernization of the system to increase e-filings
  • Co-operation with IP offices in other countries
  • A set of guidelines have been laid down for the various IP offices to comply with and they mainly suggest adoption of best practices and expedited process
  1. Commercialization of IP

Since the value and economic reward for IP owners is through commercialization, the Think Tank has suggested strategies for IP generators to maximize their commercial value. It could be through joint ventures, M&A, public private partnership or even incubators at a start-up level. In this regard, among the many suggestions, one of them has been to establish an IP Exchange facilitator for creators and innovators to be connected with potential users, buyers and funding agencies. The focus is to enable entrepreneurs and other small companies to make the most of their IP innovations.

  1. Enforcement and Adjudication

In order to ensure that there is effective enforcement of IP rights, awareness on IP related issues is the first step. The Think Tank has stated the laws enacted and the measures taken by various governments and has suggested methods for better enforcement. One of the key points is creation of a ‘Multi-Agency Task Force’ for coordination between the various agencies and providing direction and guidance on strengthening enforcement measures. Additionally, there has been a recommendation for separate patent courts in the High Courts and promotion of ADR for resolution of IP cases.

  1. Human Capital Development

Of the many suggestions, one of them is to develop an increasing pool of IP professionals and experts in spheres such as policy and law, strategy development, administration and enforcement. The object is to increase awareness by making IPR as a compulsory subject at different education levels, promoting research which will lead to creation of IP and establishment of a national level Institute of Excellence to provide thought leadership in IP.

Integration of IP with Govt. Initiatives

Apart from these objectives, the Think Tank has recommended that initiatives like Make in India and Digital India should be encouraged and promoted to further to process of IP creation. The proposed Policy aims to IP Promotion and Development Units (IPPDU) in all States, smart cities, innovation and industrial clusters in order to provide one window services to entrepreneurs, start-ups and manufacturing units for IP awareness, protection and utilization.


The suggestions put forth by the Think Tank are commendable and some of the initiatives, like ‘first-time Patent’ fee waiver and establishment of IP Exchange that have been recommended are sure to make a difference to the existing IP approach in India. However, the road ahead is uncertain since this is just the first draft of the policy and it might take a while before the draft is approved and the government brings some of the initiatives (if not all) into effect. We would like to believe that this is just the beginning of what we hope will be an eventful year for IP in India!

As per the latest DIPP Public Notice, interested persons may submit their comments on the first draft directly by email to before January 30, 2015.

This article has been authored by Nikita, an IP Law practitioner.