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English Release 24-July 2014
Date Month Year
  • President's Secretariat
  • President of India condoles the loss of lives of school children in a bus accident in Telangana
  • President of India inaugurates bank and post office at their new locations in the President’s estate
  • Prime Minister's Office
  • Nagaland Governor calls on PM
  • PM condoles loss of lives in accident in Medak district
  • Delegation from Aga Khan Foundation meets PM
  • Department of Atomic Energy
  • Production of Atomic Energy in Gujarat
  • Preparation of Nuclear and Radiation Safety Policy
  • Facilities for Workers in Atomic Projects
  • Concern Over Nuclear Liability Law
  • Rare Earths in Kollam
  • Department of Space
  • Launching of Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft
  • Launching of SAARC Satellite
  • Problem of Waste Deposits in Space
  • Space Projects Initiated/Pending Completion
  • Min of Civil Aviation
  • Civil Aviation Minister Directs Officials to Improve Maintenance at Chennai Airport
  • Min of Coal
  • Import Policy for Coal
  • Projects of CIL
  • Min of Defence
  • MALABAR – 2014
  • Min of External Affairs
  • Strengthening of India-Asean ties
  • Revisiting of nuclear liability bill
  • Hiring of consultants for business promotion
  • Complicated procedure for passports
  • Text of the Statement on Calling Attention Motion on "Situation Arising out of Indians Stranded in Iraq and Steps Taken by the Government in this Regard" in the Lok Sabha by the Minister
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Indirect Tax Revenue (Provisional) Collections During April-June 2014 Increase from Rs 1,08,639 Crore to Rs.1,13,570 Crore Registering an Increase of 4.5 % over the Corresponding Period in last Financial Year
  • Government Approves 19 Proposals of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Amounting to about Rs. 2326.72 Crore
  • Special Arrangements Made for Accepting Returns of Income
  • Min of Minority Affairs
  • Social and Educational Uplift of Minorities
  • Scholarship to Students of Minority Community
  • Setting up of Minority Commission
  • Min of New and Renewable Energy
  • Setting up of Biogas Plants
  • Production of Bio-Compressed Natural Gas
  • Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
  • Installation of Solar Water Pumps
  • Min of Overseas Indian Affairs
  • Support to Indian workers overseas
  • Problem due to weak immigration laws
  • Legal assistance to overseas Indians
  • Complaints against fraudulent recruiting agents
  • Centre to help Indian workers abroad
  • Min of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
  • Combined Medical Services Examination, 2014
  • Special Cadre for Super Specialist Doctors
  • Award to Industrious Government Staffers
  • Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • Delhi MPs meet the Petroleum and Natural gas Minister to discuss PNG issues
  • Global crude oil price of Indian Basket decreased to US$ 105.56 per bbl on 23.07.2014
  • Min of Power
  • Privatisation of Electricity Production
  • Power for All
  • Steps Taken To Increase Power Production
  • Ministry of Railways
  • Advance Booking of Reserved Train Tickets
  • Advance Booking of Reserved Train Tickets
  • Modernisation of Railway Network
  • Running of Summer Special Trains
  • Development of Railway Stations for Tourism
  • Emergency Medical Facilities in Trains
  • Min of Social Justice & Empowerment
  • National Commission for Backward Classes
  • National Overseas Scholarships for SC's
  • Legislature on Eradication of Manual Scavenging
  • Drug Abuse among Citizens
  • Min of Statistics & Programme Implementation
  • Review of Function of MPLADS
  • Ministry of Water Resources
  • Narmada Canal Project
  • Ganga Manthan
  • Areas under Water Bodies
  • Water Logging and Salinity in Command Areas
  • Availability of Surface and Ground Water
  • Indo-Nepal Joint Ministerial Commission on Water Resources
  • Flood Management
  • Min of Women and Child Development
  • Two lakh Anganwadi Centre Buildings approved for construction by Government in 12th Plan
  • Logo Design Competition launched for ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ Campaign

Previous Date

 
Ministry of Commerce & Industry27-December, 2004 17:41 IST
Kamal Nath’s statement on the Ordinance relating to Patents (Third) Amendment

The following is the text of the statement made by Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, on the Ordinance relating to Patents (Third) Amendment at a news conference here today:

1. With the coming of the New Year, two significant developments in the world of commerce and industry open themselves to India. Both are connected with the world trading order, of which India is a part: one is the final phase-out of the Multi-Fibre Agreement, and the other is marked by India’s conformity with the international Intellectual Property System in all respects, on terms that are practical and credible.

2. When India decided ten years ago to accept and adopt the world trading order, we committed ourselves to fulfilling certain obligations on the understanding that other countries of the world too would commit themselves to the same obligations. And out of these common commitments would arise opportunities – opportunities that would not have come our way had we stayed outside the system.

3. The WTO system provides an organized multilateral framework within which India can claim trade demands as a legitimate right; and in this we have succeeded. Ten years ago, our exports stood at less than 32 billion dollars. A decade later they had doubled to 64 billion dollars. Now we look to doubling our exports in five years. This year we are already set to cross 75 billion dollars. All this translates into more employment opportunities and greater economic activity, with its concurrent benefits.

4. It must be remembered that it is not only India that is conforming – for every commitment of ours, there is a parallel commitment of other member States. Because of our stand on special and differential treatment, our major trading partners have had to reduce their tariffs to a greater extent. Where dissatisfied we have recourse to the Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO. Of the 22 cases involving India which have so far been decided, India has won 9, and 7 were amicably settled on terms favourable to us.

5. The pharma industry and the IT industry are the two sunrise sectors for India. The ordinance amending the Patent Act provides for an enabling environment for both of these. Among the sectors that have experienced the greatest transformation in India, the Pharmaceutical Industry is perhaps the most significant. India’s WTO involvement during the last decade has encouraged our pharma companies to adopt a strategy of R & D based innovative growth. Thus, while Indian companies spent not even a fraction of a percent on R & D ten years ago, today the larger Indian companies are spending in the region of 6 to 8 percent of their turnover on R & D. (The norm for major MNCs is 12%). The transformed Indian pharma industry is itself looking for patent protection – particularly the bio-tech sector, in which India has aggressive prospects.

6. When we joined the WTO ten years ago Indian pharma exports were less than 4000 crore rupees. A decade later our pharma exports are 14,000 crore rupees, and account for more than a third of the industry’s turnover. This is the result of the confidence built up in our industry due to our progressive adherence to our IP commitments. Now we are poised to achieve an annual compounded growth rate of 30% in order to double our pharma exports in three years. Some 60 billion dollars worth of drugs are going off patent in the next few years. Indian industry can grab a lion’s share of this – provided we are a bona fide member of the international trading community, and are not in a questionable position, open to the possibility of retaliatory measures and sanctions, threatening not only our pharma exports, but other sectors as well – including our textiles sector.

7. Apart from manufacture of drugs, the pharma industry offers huge scope for outsourcing of clinical research. We have a vast pool of scientific and technical personnel, and recognized expertise in medical treatment and health care. India can take advantage of our strength in this provided we have the right legal framework in place, which provides IP protection to the results of that research.

8. In IT, the trend is to have software in combination with or embedded in hardware – such as in computers or cell phones or a variety of other gadgets. Software as such has no patent protection (the protection available is by way of copyright); but the changing technological environment has made it necessary to provide for patents when software has technical applications in industry in combination with hardware. This has been a demand of NASSCOM.

9. This Third Amendment is only the culmination of a process begun ten years ago. The provisions of the Ordinance are to be seen in conjunction with, and in the context of the Act, as well as of the earlier two Amendments of 1999 and 2002. Our Patents Act always provided for process patents in all fields, and product patents in all fields except drugs, food and chemicals. The Act had to be amended in order to provide for product patents in these also with effect from 1st January 2005. A Bill had been introduced in Parliament a year ago by the previous government, but lapsed.

10. The new Government set up a Group of Ministers on the matter. It was our desire to bring the Bill to Parliament first. But it was also necessary to consult with all stakeholders and political parties. The last comments we received were on the 21st of December – and so it was not possible to bring the Bill to this session of Parliament. This has necessitated the Ordinance. The ordinance will be discussed in detail in Parliament in the Budget session. The ordinance is an interim measure to fulfill our legal obligations within the stipulated time.

 

11. The ordinance is the same as the Bill introduced last year with improvements in some significant respects. We have introduced a provision for patenting of software that is embedded in hardware. We have also provided for a definite pre-grant opposition procedure. The earlier bill had only a post-grant opposition, with a weak pre-grant representation. After extensive discussions we have decided to have both pre-grant as well as post-grant opposition. Of course, we have rationalized the timelines, so as not leave everything open-ended, but have a definite time-table within which each of the stages should take place. This reduces by half the maximum time it would take for the processing of an application, from more than nine years to about four. Another significant modification is the introduction of a provision to protect Indian industry from infringement proceedings with retrospective effect. We have specifically provided that patent rights for mail box applications will only be available prospectively. We have made these changes after wide consultation, and we feel that these considerably improve the proposals.

12. The fear that prices of medicines will spiral is unfounded. In the first place we must realize the fact that 97% of all drugs manufactured in India are off-patent, and so will remain unaffected. These cover all the life-saving drugs, as well as medicines of daily use for common aliments. In the patented drugs also, in most cases there are always alternatives available. In fact a feature of patent protection is that it spurs research, so that constantly alternatives keep appearing in the market – and often the alternatives are better ones. Thus price control is inherently built in.

13. We have 13 Compulsory Licensing provisions under Chapter XVI in place. The Joint Parliamentary Committee discussed this issue threadbare three years ago. Their recommendations were the basis of the Second Amendment. The Act also has strong provisions under Chapter XVII for outright acquisition of the patent to meet national requirements. There is also the Drug Price Control Order administered by the National Pharmaceuticals Price Authority. With this framework in place it is clear that the concerns and fears expressed by various sections are wholly misplaced.

14. The Act ensures that the reasonable requirements of the public with respect to availability and affordability are taken care of. Public interest particularly public health and nutrition is protected. The law effectively balances and calibrates Intellectual Property protection with public health concerns and national security. By participating in the international system of intellectual property protection, India unlocks for herself vast opportunities in both exports as well as her potential to become a global hub in the area of R&D based clinical research outsourcing, particularly in the area of bio-technology.


(Release ID :6074)

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