[Ip-health] India for flexible IP regime for small, medium enterprises in developing countries

Gopa Kumar kumargopakm at gmail.com
Mon Mar 11 06:15:31 PDT 2013


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[image: Pharmabiz] India for flexible IP regime for small, medium
enterprises in developing countriesRamesh Shankar, Mumbai, *Monday, March
11, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]*

At the World Trade Organisation (WTO)'s TRIPS Council meeting, India is
arguing for a flexible Intellectual Property (IP) regime for the small and
medium enterprises in developing countries for their technological progress.

Citing examples how the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had thrived
during the pre-TRIPS Agreement era, Indian delegation at the WTO's TRIPS
Council meeting said that the Indian pharmaceutical and IT sectors which
started as SMEs in the 1970s, in fact made greater progress during the
pre-TRIPS era compared to the current IP climate. India, in fact, became
the pharmacy of the world to supply low cost affordable medicines to the
developing world in the absence of any IP regime. For the developing
countries especially for the SMEs, the IP in fact acts as an obstacle to
adapt, absorb and reverse engineer the existing technologies, the Indian
delegation said.

There is no direct correlation between IP and innovation even for the small
and medium industries. The technological progress even in the developed
world had been achieved not through IP protection but through focused
governmental interventions like compulsory licenses, cross licensing,
government funding, and competition policy.

It is unfortunate that some of the technologically developed countries
would like to showcase the positive effect of IP on innovation, when
historically these countries including the proponents of this Agenda Item
have reached this stage of technological development by focusing solely on
the development of their own domestic industry without caring for the
intellectuals property rights of the foreigners or the right holders. After
achieving a high level of development, they are now attempting to
perpetuate their hold on their technologies by making a push towards a
TRIPS plus regime, Indian delegation at the WTO regretted.

The SMEs' marginal innovation is mainly limited to technological adaptation
and absorption without any attempt to innovate in a real sense. For these
units which are capital starved, the protection of their IP, even if it
exists, is farthest on their agenda. This is because IPR have a national
jurisdiction and they lack capacity to register in every market where there
products are sold. Moreover they also do not have the financial capacity to
fight the infringers of their IPRs in foreign countries. So, in essence,
the use of IPRs as an instrument of protection for the inventions of SMEs
is not necessarily either an immediate or a simple solution, Indian
delegation said.



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