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The Intellectual Property Exchange will be developed under Harsh Vardhan’s science and technology ministry through the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC). Photo: HT
The Intellectual Property Exchange will be developed under Harsh Vardhan’s science and technology ministry through the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC). Photo: HT

India may get Intellectual Property Exchange soon

The Intellectual Property Exchange will enable individuals and commercial entities both in India and overseas to buy and sell IP rights across various sectors

New Delhi: India will soon have an Intellectual Property (IP) Exchange, joining the league of countries like Hong Kong and United Kingdom, where individuals and commercial entities both in India and overseas will be able to buy and sell intellectual property rights across various sectors.

The exchange will be developed under the ministry of science and technology through the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC). The idea of setting up a patent exchange similar to those in Hong Kong and the UK was floated in the ministry around two months ago. The project has already got in-principle approval from the science and technology ministry.

Intellectual property is the product of human imagination, creativity and inventiveness and comprises inventions, designs, brands and artistic works. Similarly, intellectual property rights allow a person or company to have exclusive rights to use their own plans, ideas, or other intangible assets exclusively at least for a specific period of time. These rights can include copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. They are classified as patents, design, trade mark and geographical indication.

“We have been mandated with the task of creation of the proposed IP exchange and the process will take around 8-9 months for collecting data and setting up the exchange. We are already undertaking exercise of collecting necessary data and information on patents filed worldwide on multiple technologies, predominantly on agriculture and allied sectors," said NRDC chairman and managing director H. Purushotham.

In India, IP rights are given by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM). According to its annual report of 2015-16, India witnessed about 30% increase in filing of intellectual property applications compared to previous years. In 2015-16, 3,41,086 applications were filed for IP rights as against 2,35,306 in 2011-12.

Purushotham says, “The idea is to exploit the commercial viability of patents in India which usually get expired as they don’t get platform to sell." He said the country has a repository of around 2 lakh patents every year that have potential for commercialization.

“It is a good move, much like the stock exchange but much will depend on its practical implementation. It will help to cut down bilateral and arbitrary negotiations between parties, bring transparency and simplify the buy/sell/license process. A few problems like tracking and verification of patents being bought, sold or licensed and their final use however may stand in the way," said Vaibhav Vutts, founder of Vutts & Associates, a Delhi-based boutique IP firm.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation’s Innovation and Patents report released in June, India’s research and development spend is estimated to reach $71.5 billion by 2016 from $66.49 billion in 2015.

In 2015, India became the world’s sixth largest annual research and development spending country, accounting for 3.53% of global R&D expenditure. R&D spending in India is anticipated to grow from 0.9% to 2.4% of the country’s GDP from 2014 to 2034 respectively.

The number of multinational corporations with R&D centres in India has grown at a CAGR of 4.57% from 721 in 2010 to 943 in 2016. During 2010-16, the workforce in MNC R&D centres increased at a CAGR of 10.08% and reached 363,000, which is estimated to further increase to 387,000 by 2017 in India.

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