DPIIT and DKPTO sign MoU to establish cooperation in the field of IP

29 December 2020

DPIIT and DKPTO sign MoU to establish cooperation in the field of IP

In line with the objectives laid down under the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which establishes a mechanism for cooperation in the field of intellectual property and information technology services.

In the meeting dated September 15, 2020, the Indian Union Cabinet gave the green light to sign the MoU - brought into effect on September 26, 2020. This calls for technical cooperation between India and Denmark with the aim to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights for the benefit of innovation and sustainable economic growth. The MoU also extends support to the Green Strategic Partnership, which was agreed between the leaders of the countries on September 28, 2020.

After coming into effect, the parties will draw up a Biennial Work Plan to implement the MoU which will include detailed planning for carrying out the cooperation activities, including the scope of action. The Biennial Work Plan ensures that the MoU is implemented in its essence.

The First Work Plan was signed in November 2020 and it specifies the areas of cooperation between the Danish Patent and Trademark Office and the Indian authorities. It covers three main themes, 1) examination and registration of patents, trademarks, and designs, 2) enforcement of IPR and use of the IP system, and 3) commercialization of IP.

Additionally, DKPTO and DPIIT will exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to increase capacity, raise awareness and improve the protection of intellectual property rights. Under the aegis of DPIIT, the collaboration will involve the Controller General for Patents Designs and Trade Marks / the Indian IP Office and the Cell for IP Awareness and Management (CIPAM).

The MoU is valid for four years and will be renewed on a rolling basis based on joint reviews.

According to Akshay Ajayakumar, Associate, Sim And San, Attorneys At Law, this partnership will lead to stronger bilateral cooperation on green technologies through joint efforts to improve the IP environment in India that will enable effective registration, protection, and utilisation of IP rights.

“The MoU aims at cooperation by the exchange of best practises, knowledge, and experiences, on IP awareness among authorities, businesses and research and educational institutions, and collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges, and outreach activities,” he says. “It will facilitate the parties to exchange information and best practices on processes for reviewing applications (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and Geographical Indications), as also for protection, enforcement and use of IP rights.”

The MoU also includes dissemination of best practices, experiences, and knowledge on IP through events to stakeholders like universities, businesses, industries. etc. Further, it involves training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges, and outreach activities.

Ajayakumar adds that this cooperation may help in streamlining the process at the India Trade Marks Registry which in turn can help in building a robust system for registration which supports innovation and economic growth, one of the conduits to further India’s National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016.

“Businesses and brands will reap benefits through an easier registration process by India’s engagement and initiative to learn best practices from different IPOs across the world,” he says. “The MoU also stresses on awareness-raising and outreach, which will help in commercialising IP in India.

As for the challenges, it would lie in implementing the system learnt from the DKPTO.

“There may be technical challenges which can be only resolved after further investment by the Government at the Registry to make it at par with any first-world nation,” he says. “Further, the first world companies are a bit more concerned about the protection of their IP in comparison to Indian homegrown entities and such differences should be taken into account before initiating any measures. Coming to the legal provisions of the MoU, it provides that any dispute arising out of the same shall be amicably settled through mutual consultations.”


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