Bilateral Treaties Between India And Other Countries
In today’s context, bilateral FTA’s become a tool for corporates looking to expand their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) standards. IPR gave the owner an exclusive right to prevent anyone from making or using their “creation” and confers monopoly rights over intangible goods and services, trademarks, computer programs, methods of doing business on the internet, designs, manufacturing processes, and drug formulations. Therefore, IPR provides companies a direct tool to control a portion of the market, to block out the competition, and to fence territories. IPR is little more than protectionism for transnational companies (TNCs), administered by governments and they are key aspects of many free trade and investment agreements. IPR seeks to promote innovation and provide incentives in which companies or individuals give licenses to use their products and to reimburse their research and development costs. However, all the public subsidies, tax breaks, university contract labor, and so on goes to the research and development, and therefore, it becomes important for countries to make IPR laws a public policy and push it through bilateral channels in order to protect the TNC’s.
In the last decade, India has entered into various bilateral agreements with other countries in order to promote Intellectual Property Rights among nations. Let’s have a look at some important intellectual property bilateral agreements by India:
India-Australia Bilateral Agreement
The Department of Industrial Property and Promotion of India (DIPP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IP Australia on 20th May 2008. The MoU seeks to promote IPR by way of capacity building, experience exchange, public education & awareness.
India-Switzerland Bilateral Agreement
India and Switzerland signed an MoU on 8th August 2007 for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights. As per the MoU, a joint working group was established to raise awareness and create a response about Counterfeit goods and the risk associated with it. Besides joint studies on intellectual property issues, the MoU also envisages the exchange of views, information, and experiences regarding the protection of intellectual property at the national level.
India-Japan Bilateral Agreement
India and Japan have signed a bilateral agreement on December 15, 2006, for increasing cooperation in capacity building activities in intellectual property, including in developing human resources, recognizing the importance of intellectual property for economic growth. Further, both the countries agreed to draw an Annual action plan to provide training to intellectual property policymakers, professionals and managers. Also, the agreement includes the exchange of information and best practices in the field of Intellectual property.
India-Germany Bilateral Agreement
India has signed a bilateral agreement with Germany on 30th October 2007 for fostering co-operation between CGPDTM (Controller General of Patents, Trademarks, Design, and Trademark) and DPMA (German Patent and Trademark Office). The agreement is aimed at contemplating both the institutions to promote economic and technological exchanges between India and Germany.
India-U.S. bilateral Agreement
India and U.S., for the first time on 6th December 2006 signed a bilateral agreement on IPR. Among the directives outlined under the agreement is to promote cooperation on capacity building, human resource development, and public awareness of the intellectual property. The US will help train Indian patent and trademark examiners and also produce a manual outlining good patent practice for examiners and the public. It is hoped that it will improve the sharing of best practices and other cooperation.
Intellectual Property Office of India (IPO) - European Patent Office (EPO) Bilateral Agreement
On 29th November 2006, the Government of India and the European Patent Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral co-operation establishing a framework for structured work relations between EPO and the IPO for at least four years. The objective is to support the development of the patent system in terms of service delivery and efficiency, particularly by means of technical co-operation and exchange of best practices in areas such as patent examination, administration, and information.
India-France Bilateral Agreement
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Industry of the Republic of France signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 15th July 2018. The aim of the agreement is to develop a dialogue on the possible areas of cooperation in the field of intellectual property. The possible area of cooperation would be an exchange of experience, knowledge, and best practice in the field of Intellectual property between both countries.
India-Sweden Bilateral Agreement
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th August 2017 gave approval to the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Sweden. The agreement was aimed at increasing cooperation and to provide benefits to the entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors. As per the MoU, a joint coordinating committee was formed with the aim to exchange best practices, knowledge, and experience among the public, businesses, and educational institutions of both India and Sweden.
India-U.K. Bilateral Agreement
The union cabinet on 7th November 2016 has its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and the United Kingdom (UK) for Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property (IP). The MoU seeks to establish a wide-ranging and flexible mechanism for developing and furthering the cooperation in the development of automation, new documentation, and information systems in IP. It provides an opportunity for collaboration in training programs, exchange of experts and technical exchanges, and outreach activities. The implementation of MoU will promote innovation, creativity, and economic growth in both countries.
India-Singapore Bilateral Agreement
India and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of industrial property. The MoU was signed on 4th October 2016 and was the first bilateral MoU on industrial property co-operation. Under the MoU, a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) will be established, which will facilitate bilateral exchanges and cooperation to foster innovation and support Indian companies in tapping on Singapore as a regional intellectual property hub for their innovation-related activities. Further, the MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation activities in the arena of Industrial Property Rights of Patents, Trademarks, and Industrial Designs. The agreement is intended to give a boost to innovation, creativity, and technological advancement in both regions.
India-Russia Bilateral Agreement
The Government of India and the Government of Russia have signed a bilateral Agreement on the Reciprocal Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the field of Military-Technical Co-operation. During the 18th Annual Indo-Russian Summit, both the countries have signed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) Access agreement between the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research(CSIR) and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property.
India-WIPO Bilateral Agreement
The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM) and Director General of WIPO signed a Cooperation Agreement to facilitate the exchange of data between these offices. The data includes Indian Patent documents, search and examination reports through WIPO CASE, and WIPO Digital Access Services (DAS) to make priority documents available electronically. The agreement was signed on 5th October 2017 at Geneva, Switzerland.
India-Japan Bilateral Agreement
In June 2015, The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM) and The Japan Patent Office (JPO) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation and an action plan in the field of industrial property. Under this agreement, the JPO has been advancing the development of environments in which companies are able to more quickly obtain intellectual property rights in India, such as inviting people from India to Japan for human resource development and assisting the CGPDTM in conducting training programs for about 400 newly-employed patent examiners. There are numbers of cooperative initiative that has been conducted under this agreement such as, providing training for new patent examiners at the CGPDT, Dispatching JPO experts of the PPH program to India, promoting cooperation in raising awareness of intellectual property and innovations, etc.
India-Canada Bilateral Agreement
On 23rd February 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada. The initiatives taken under the MoU are collaboration on training and education programs to industry, business, and educational institutions in both countries. The agreement includes the exchange of best practices, knowledge, and expertise, with an aim to promote innovation, creativity, and economic growth in both countries.