[Economy] Patents in India
Patent is one of the way to claim Intellectual Property Rights.
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A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time(20 years) in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process.It is a way to reward inventor for hard work, research, time and money spent in Invention.
Issuing Patent is always a debatable issue in India whether it be a technological Patent or a Pharma company seeking Patent.
Why do Companies/individual go for Patent?
- Short term Monopoly in Market thus absence of competition
- Profit Motives-increase in Prices
- Increases the life span of company
- Hinders domestic Production
Also it is believed that patent leads to innovation, growth in scientific research, development and Industrialization.
Lets see How Patent Law took shape in India
After Independence in 1947, India’s Patent regime was governed by Patent & Design Act 1911, we had both Process & Product Patent. But it was realised that instead of doing any good to Indians, its more beneficial to foreign companies. Also there was no significant enhancements in Research & Development. Therefore committee was set up under Bakshi Tek Chand in 1949 to review Patent Act 1911.
1950 – Submitted recommendations to avoid misuse or abuse of Patent rights in India.
1950 – Act was amended on basis of Invention, Licensing and Revocation.
1957– Ayanggar committee to completely revamp and recast Patent Laws according to needs of country. Laws should be designed considering economical,technological and Political development in the country.
Recommendation – Clear distinction about what can be patented and what cannot be,Things which serve national wellbeing and health cannot be patented.
Special discussion on chemical, food and drugs were made, instead of Product Patent, Process Patent regime was given for these items provided that they satisfy rules of Patent-ability like Novelty, subject matter etc.
foundings were ration of Patents to Indian & foreigners were 1:9
Based on Recommendation, new law Patent Act 1970 came into existence on April 20,1970 replacing Act 1911.With new Patent Regime, India got an edge in global Market especially in sectors like Pharma and Chemicals. Trade increased also more focus was given on Research & Developments. When things were going well in India, some developments were taking place Internationally which were going to affect Indian Patent laws.
Following the Uruguay Multilateral Negotiations under GATT (General Agreements on Tarrif & Trade), Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), it sets minimum standards for protection and enforcement of IPR and aims at harmonising national interest regarding IPR. All the members of WTO are bound to abide by agreement & India being a member of WTO(Since ist inception 1 jan 1995) is bound to abide by the agreement.
Some of the most important point from TRIPS are :
1. Promotion of technology, Mutual benefit of user and producer without hampering social, economical welfare.
2. Members while making their laws should adopt measures to promote public health nutrition and welfare.
Many of this changes were incorporated in Amendment 2002 but still India was not complaint with TRIPS, one of the non compliance was Product Patent for Pharma, Agricultural and chemical substances.
The Bill lapsed and Government of India came up with an ordinance 2004, effective from 2005 in order to not to default on obligations by TRIPS,and to save image of India ordinance 2005 was promulgated by President on 2004.
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