Narendra K Sabharwal, deputy director-general, cooperation for development sector, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is responsible for technical assistance and capacity building in area of intellectual property in developing nations. He joined WIPO as director of Asia and Pacific Bureau in August 1991 and was responsible for the development of cooperation programme and activities of WIPO in the region. Sabharwal, in an interview to FE’s Prachi Raturi Misra talks about IPR, counterfeit products and challenges to counter them. Excerpts:
How has globalisation changed things in India when it comes to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?
Globalisation along with advances in new technologies and the digital environment have magnified the role of innovation and knowledge in the development process. Intellectual property (IP) has become one of the main driving forces for stimulation and diffusion of innovation and creativity in knowledge-based economies. By its broad and cross-cutting nature, IP has also acquired a new salience to some of the most pressing global and public policy issues such as health care, food security, climate change, preservation of biodiversity, traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. The filing of patents and trademarks in India has shown a healthy growth in recent years, signifying greater attention by Indian inventors and creators to protect new ideas and concepts by using various IP tools. In certain industries like publishing, information technology and software, films, music and performing arts, India is a significant global player and will continue to benefit from an effective copyright protection. Ultimately, the challenge for India, as for all countries, in the globalised world, is to optimise ways in which IP could catalyse the enormous innovative potential of its people, generate wealth and enhance social welfare and cultural development. Therefore, it is important to consider IP as part of a broader national innovation and development strategy.
How much is India in sync with the rest of the world?
India has emerged as an important player in the national and international IP arena. Indeed, the progress in modernising the IP system in India has been impressive. Concrete measures have been taken by the country towards establishing an effective, modern and balanced IP system and developing national capacities in different sectors of the economy for creating, managing and leveraging IP assets. These include the upgrading of IP laws in conformity with international obligations and national priorities; undertaking significant steps for modernising the administrative and institutional infrastructure, notably the Indian IP Office;