India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) recently unveiled a discussion paper on licensing of patents. In an article published by Frontline, Triple Crisis blogger C.P. Chandrasekhar analyses the paper and argues that the discussion paper on compulsory licensing of patents will have achieved its purpose if it can lead to a proactive policy in the area of drugs and health.
“India having signed on to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), having suitably modified its Patents and Trade Marks Acts and having enacted the Designs and Geographical Indications Act, has a transparent regime for the protection of intellectual property (IP). However, any regime that protects IP must provide for ways to prevent the misuse of that protection or of its use in situations where it obviously hurts the public interest. One of the accepted and tested mechanisms to deal with situations of improper use is compulsory licensing. The paper claims to be motivated by the desire to “develop a predictable environment” for the use of such measures.”
“While the DIPP’s immediate concern is the issue of compulsory licensing, the implications of its analysis go beyond that. The effort to initiate this debate and set its tone needs to be lauded.”
Read the full Frontline Article