Enforcing the Patent Bargain: Intellectual property rights sensitivity should not be at the expense of public health obligations

The Indian Express

In May 2016, the then Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (now known as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) under the Ministry of Commerce released the 32-page National IPR Policy. The overall purpose of this document was to spell out the government’s comprehensive vision for the IPR ecosystem in the country towards shaping a more innovative and creative Bharat. To this end, seven broad objectives were spelt out, of which three are relevant to the discussion at hand. Under the head “Legal and Legislative Framework”, the goal was “to have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of right owners with larger public interest”; under “Administration and Management”, the objective was “to modernise and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration”; and under “Enforcement and Adjudication”, the focus was “to strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements”.

Following this, over the last six years, the IPR ecosystem in this country has witnessed both structural and legislative changes.

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