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Government taking steps to reduce patent backlog: Kant

The government is addressing the concerns related to backlog in the patent and trademark offices by undertaking a recruitment drive to keep pace with increasing applications.

“One of the major reasons for the backlog has been the fact that human resources in the IP (intellectual property) office has not kept pace with the increase in filings. While this is being addressed by the government with sanction of more than 1,000 posts in the 12th Plan, further steps to address pendency through a mission mode is also under process,” said Amitabh Kant, secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion in the ministry of commerce and industry.

Kant said as far as trademarks are concerned, the government has already approved 100 contract examiners, expected to take up jobs by April. These contract examiners will also help in clearing the applications regarding trademark examination.

“In respect of patents applications, we should also be in a position to announce the measures to be undertaken to address pendency,” he said here at a Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) event on Wednesday.

On the draft national IPR (intellectual property rights) Policy, which is up for stakeholders’ comments, Kant said the new policy is expected to be a “visionary document.”

“Recognising the need to scale up the process of IP creation and increase commercialisation of the technology that is developed, the government has embarked on the process of preparing a National IPR Policy,” he said.

According to Francis Gurry, director-general, World Intellectual Property Organisation, the government’s Make In India campaign is a positive step towards creating a conducive environment for innovation.

“Awareness and increased investment from the industry on research and development is important. And this will come with the Make in India initiative that seeks to boost manufacturing … India is now putting emphasis on innovation which is encouraging,” said Gurry.

Gurry also said that the increasingly countries are resorting to push for more stringent IPR norms according to their needs under the plethora of bilateral and multilateral trade deals.

There have been a total 2,157 IP-related cases in last 20 years, out of which 1,433 decisions have gone in favour of IP owners in which 600 cases involved foreign entities, according to official statistics.

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