Apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has identified a host of intellectual property (IP) related issues that are slowing down the pace of growth of the country’s manufacturing sector.

The broad IP-related challenges facing the industry include the need for speedy grant of patents for manufacturing technologies reducing carbon/GHG emission, the need for stringent timelines for scheduling hearings and providing a decision on the review petition, quick action against counterfeit products, issues related to inaccurate classification of products, lack of differentiated treatment in identifying the merit of process patent inventions in mechanical domain and chemical products, abolition of India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), the lack of statutory trade secret protection, etc.

The issues are highlighted in a report on IPR issues with respect to the manufacturing sector published by CII. Released at CII’s 9th International Conference on IPR in Delhi on November 20, the report underscores the pivotal role of India's manufacturing in economic growth, contributing 15% to GDP and employing 12% of the workforce. “As India aspires to become a global manufacturing hub, the issues arising in the areas of IPR need to be addressed. The report highlights the common IPR issues in manufacturing space in India and proposes recommendations that will help address the key needs of the IPR ecosystem in the Indian manufacturing sector,” the report states.

The conference also saw the release of a report on IP issues in the pharmaceutical sector, and two reports that consolidate the geographical indications (GIs) in the state of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, respectively.

The report on the pharmaceutical sector highlights the lack of specific timelines in IPR procedures, slow-moving IPR Litigation, absence of clarity on stockpile requirements, cumbersome National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) approval requirements for inventions using biological resources obtained from India, restricted scope of research exemption (Bolar provision) in certain countries- Ukraine, Russia, and Brazil, etc.

CII sought re-scoping of the Bio-diversity Act to ensure it promotes easier bio-resource access to manufacturing companies producing products to support the circular economy and sustainability goals. CII also stated that the booklets on GI are meant to promote and encourage local artisans and craftsmen of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The booklets would also be useful in encouraging and examining the GI ecosystem of India and help the country leverage its traditional knowledge to drive robust rural economic growth, the industry body said.

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