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India trying to set up computerised intellectual property rights office on US model


NEW DELHI: The government said in Rajya Sabha on Friday said it is trying to set up a fully computerised intellectual property rights (IPR) office in the country which is similar to the US model where everything is done online.

Responding during Question Hour, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said the government has brought a lot of "sanity" to the working of eight areas of IPR, be it patent, copyright or trademark.

"All of these are synergised into one office now. We are in the process of computerising every process so that people don't have to go to any IPR office whatsoever," he said.

In the whole of the US, there is one IPR office and everybody works online, he said, and added, "I am trying to develop that module here."

With smartphones proliferating all over India, the government wants to ensure rural artisans and craftsmen engage directly online through video conferencing and get advice on patent-related issues free of cost, he said.

The government has already reduced charges significantly for start-ups, artisans and women entrepreneurs, he added.

On protection of traditional knowledge under India's IPR policy, Goyal said it is not only related to traditional medicine but also a traditional cultural expression.

An initial study has been conducted to get a feel of what a road map on this issue should be, he said and added that the government is now in the process of working out a much more detailed analysis and prepare a roadmap forward.

On government's efforts to protect traditional knowledge, the minister said 3.6 lakh formulations which were part of traditional knowledge have now been made available to 13 patent offices across the world.

"Due to which, we were able to save about 236 cases which otherwise would have got patented somewhere else. They were able to deny the patent in different geographies because of our effort to make the world aware that India has a lot of traditional knowledge," he added.

The minister also assured the BJD member that the government will consider protecting "traditional culture" in the IPR policy. The government is very committed that rural India is engaged with the world when it comes to the country's traditional knowledge and culture, he added.