Friday, August 31, 2007

Legal framework on sharing of IP [India]

Corporate houses that use government funds for research, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, will soon have a legal framework to share the intellectual property generated by these joint efforts.

At present, the government provides assistance in the form of non-repayable grant in aid and as soft loans for specific research projects undertaken by industry, universities and other public and private entities. The move is set to give a major boost to publicly funded research which has started picking up recently.

It is also expected to boost nano-technology research, for which the government has allocated a massive fund which has received lukewarm response till now.

At present, universities and autonomous research institutions that get government funding lack the mandate to commercialise their research results that is largely done by the industry. Innovations also get wasted as the it belongs to the funding agency and there is no incentive for the innovators.

The new legislation would provide a legal framework that would develop an active interface between the funding agencies, academia and the industry, which has been lacking so far.

“One reason why our country lags behind in generating IPs is that our innovations remain within the confines of R&D institutions and fail to get commercialised. The department of bio-technology has now drafted the Public Funded R&D Projects (Protection, Utilisation and Regulation of Intellectual Property) Bill, 2007 for giving a fillip to government aided R&D and promotion of the culture of innovation in the country,” an official source said.

As per the provisions of the draft bill, R&D institutions funded by the government would be permitted to make applications to protect the IP developed by them in countries of their choice and use the revenue generated from such commercialisation. The funding agency (government) could apply for IPs only in such countries not selected by the institutions.

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