[Ip-health] WIPO General Assembly 2015: Opening statement of India

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon Oct 5 03:32:14 PDT 2015


*India’s Statement by H.E. Mr. Ajit Kumar,Ambassador/Permanent
Representative of India to the United Nations Offices in Geneva, on the
occasion of 55th Series of the Meetings of the Member States of WIPO*

*Mr. President,*

The delegation of India would like congratulate Your Excellency Ambassador
Duque, on your election as the President of General Assembly. We believe in
your dynamic leadership of this General Assembly and are also confident
that you will skilfully guide the intensive deliberations, which would take
place in the coming days.

We would also like to compliment Director General Mr. Francis Gurry and his
able Chief of Staff and ADG Mr. Naresh Prasad who is also the Secretary to
the Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies, and other members of his team, for
their hard work and excellent preparation for organising the Assemblies.

We would also like to express our gratitude to the members of the Asian
Group for their faith in India’s role, as the Regional Coordinator.

*Mr. President*

Today, knowledge has become the fulcrum of development, as it replaces
traditional resources as the source of competitive advantage for countries.
Countries with feeble knowledge economy are bound to lag behind in this era
of densely interconnected world of information networks.

A robust Intellectual Property regime provides the bedrock for innovation
that is crucial to building the economy and aiding the development of any
country. At the same time, we need to be conscious of our role as welfare
States in safeguarding and providing for the needs of not only our own
citizens, but also of the entire world community. If I may daresay, with
Intellectual Property Rights, come Intellectual Property Duties, and we
have to remain fully conscious of both.

*Mr. President*

India is committed to maintaining this delicate balance of promoting
innovation, protecting Intellectual Property Rights and meet the
developmental challenges by providing a well-balanced, TRIPS compliant and
a purposeful IPR Regime. India has created a highly transparent, e-enabled,
efficient and freely accessible to public IP ecosystem. The Government of
India is committed to these advancements and improvements in our IT and
other infrastructure, with the Hon. Prime Minister of India himself taking
personal interest in speeding up disposal.

India is preparing a roadmap for the future through its National
Intellectual Property Rights Policy. The National IPR Policy envisages IP
as an integral part of India’s overall development policy. This Policy will
provide a secure and stable climate for stimulating inventions and
creations. It will also augur well for research, trade, technology transfer
and investment.

In order to strengthen the Indian IP administration, the Government of
India has launched a project worth $50 million for Modernisation and
Strengthening of IP Offices. We are going in for a four-fold increase in
the number of Patent Examiners, which will bring down pendency drastically.

One of the goals of these Intellectual Property Initiatives is to  drive
the  “Make in India” Programme, a flagship programme  aiming  to facilitate
investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect
intellectual property and build state-of -art manufacturing infrastructure.

I am also pleased to inform thattheIndian Patent Office, which started
functioning as International Searching Authority and International
Preliminary Examining Authority two years ago, has already issued 734
Search Reports against 923 requests. India prides itself on providing
quality reports at the lowest cost among patent offices.

India has shown enormous jump in filings under the Madrid protocol for
international protection of trademarks. About 17000 international
applications designating India have been received in India. We thank WIPO
for registering the International Trademark of an Indian company as the
1.25 millionth mark under the Madrid System.

The creation of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) has been a
major achievement for India, a country with a vast pool of traditional
knowledge. India has been able to partially prevent attempts to
misappropriate its traditional knowledge with the help of this digital
library, particularly with those countries that have included TKDL in their
search. We hope that TKDL is made a part of PCT minimum documentation.

We, as policy makers, have a duty towards creating awareness in the masses,
especially the new generation, about their IPRs. We have initiated a “Kids
Nook” corner to inculcate the culture of IPRs in children through comics.
It would be really heartening for WIPO to take up such awareness
initiatives globally.

*Mr. President*

Development of normative framework is one of the important functions of
WIPO, and we look forward to more progress in this regard.

India is one of the cradles of human civilization with deep rooted
traditions, rich ancient culture and prodigious bio-diversity. India looks
forward to an early finalization of International legal instrument for
effective protection of its Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural
Expressions and Genetic Resources. India would like disclosure, prior
informed consent and equitable access and benefit sharing to be included in
the international instruments concerning IPRs.

India also notes the encouraging progress made in the Standing Committee on
Law of Trademarks, Design and Geographical Indications, in respect of the
negotiations on the Design Law Treaty. National level flexibilities are
essential and should be allowed under this treaty. India is ready to engage
on the issue with an open mind.

India reiterates its support for a treaty on protection of broadcasting
organisations based on ‘the signal based approach in traditional sense’
consistent with the mandate of 2007 General Assembly. However, the issue of
‘rights based approach’ to protect broadcasting organizations and also
inclusion of any elements of webcasting and simulcasting needs further
discussion and exchange of ideas.

*Mr. President*

India was the first country to ratify the ‘Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate
Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or
Otherwise Print Disabled’. We hope that we will reach the target of
depositing 20 instruments of ratification by the eligible parties soon, so
that Marrakesh Treaty could enter into force. Marrakesh Treaty is one
treaty which should make all WIPO member States proud.

We believe that it is the right time to gradually expand the network of
external offices in order to further develop the global IP system. We feel
that there should be clear guidelines for setting up such offices. This
will ensure transparency in the procedure and final selection. I assure all
assistance from India in this regard.

I would like to raise an area of concern; IPR negotiations are being
brought into the bilateral, regional trading agreements and other
plurilateral processes. The stated objective of these negotiations is to
seek protection and enforcement of IP rights beyond the provision of TRIPS.
It is an attempt to subvert accepted global IP norms and bypass WIPO’s
mandate. Such misplaced IPR activism is beyond the scope of international
legal obligations and is not acceptable to India. These ongoing
negotiations are against the spirit of multilateralism and is likely to
have deleterious effect on multilateral institutions like WIPO.

*Mr. President,*

We also acknowledge the commendable role played by Comptroller and Auditor
General of India as an external auditor of WIPO for the financial year
2014. They will be presenting a detailed report on the financial statements
of the WIPO later during the Assembly. We note that there are several
useful recommendations.

We commend the WIPO management as well, for their positive response to the
recommendations made by the External Auditors and measures taken by them
for improvements in different areas.

*Mr. President*

We are happy that several steps have been taken by WIPO Member States as
also by the Director-General and his team to ensure greater development
orientation in WIPO’s work and mainstreaming of the Development Agenda. We
look forward to the effective monitoring mechanism that is being developed
in this regard.

We convey our sincere thanks to WIPO for giving us the opportunity to
showcase the registered Geographical Indications of India. GIs can generate
tremendous business opportunities across the globe, given the reputation
and quality that they carry. I have the honour to invite all the
distinguished delegates on this occasion.

Before I conclude, I would once again like to thank the WIPO Secretariat
for the excellent documentation and arrangements for this Assembly. I am
confident that the present session will enable intensive deliberations and
play a positive role in guiding WIPO’s work, including the approving of the
budget for biennial 2016/17. The Indian delegation looks forward to
actively participating and contributing to the deliberations during this
General Assembly.

*I thank you, Mr. President.*

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