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Describe the important benefits enjoyed by Indian companies through TRIPs. Elaborate the main objectives of WTO in global economy.

Recent  developments relating to TRIPs have witnessed some important gains for developing countries. In the Doha WTO Ministerial, developing countries were able to ensure that a Declaration on TRIPs and Public Health was passed. In 2001 within the FAO, countries agreed on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture that aims to promote access to crops important for food security and transfer of benefits from the commercialisation of crops back to farmers. Within and outside the WTO, there is a greater acceptance that TRIPs must be implemented in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and that the importance of traditional knowledge should be recognized. These developments provide the momentum upon which developing countries can build future strategies.
  India’s domestic policy and international negotiations on one aspect of IPRs, patents, provides important lessons for formulating a comprehensive negotiating strategy on TRIPs. India’s negotiating history shows that while trade threats were important in leading India to initiate changes in its policy globally, domestic level policy change took place only with the mobilization of a domestic constituency that favoured change. Support from developing countries, disunity among advanced nations and the role of NGOs were also factors that enabled India to promote its interests in the negotiations. India’s position in the field of patents, in terms of patent applications reveals that few domestic firms have the capacity to transform potential into patent activity at least in the short-term. Policy and negotiating strategies must therefore focus on ensuring access for the majority. This potential for promoting India’s interests exists currently for re-evaluating TRIPs. There is a strong domestic constituency that would benefit from linking the right to health with TRIPs. Support also exists from important developing countries and NGOs. In addition, there is disunity among advanced nations on these issues.
  India and other developing countries currently have the opportunity to scale back the negative implications of TRIPs on their economies. They should negotiate for a restriction of IPRs by linking the right to health with TRIPs, argue for provisions for price control and not rely only on compulsory licenses, and restrictions on the scope of patentability rather than narrowing the field to GI extension, recognition of TK, and benefit sharing.

. Part III outlines strategy options for India and other developing countries for future TRIPs negotiations.
India’s Patent Policy
  India has a long history of patent policy which was defined after enormous study. India’s approach to patents differs from those of industrialized countries in that India sees patents as a tool of public policy. India’s policy is being challenged by the demand to reform IPR laws to conform to TRIPs. This section provides an overview of India’s patent policy.
  The following essential features of the Act reveal the basic patents policy of India:
1.   General Principle of Patent Grant (a) that patents are granted to encourage inventions and to secure that the inventions are worked in India on a commercial scale and to the fullest extent that is reasonably practicable without under delay; and (b) that they a not granted merely to enable patentees to enjoy a monopoly for the importation of the patented article".
2.   Principle of National Treatment - no limitations or restrictions on foreigners in applying for or obtaining patents in India.
3.   Inventions Not Patentable - The following are not patentable:
  (a) An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obviously contrary to will established natural laws;
  (b) An invention the primary or intended use of which would be contrary to law or morality or injurious to public health
  (c) The mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of an abstract theory
  (d) The mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or of the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product or employs at last one new reactant
  (e) A substance obtained by a mere admixture resulting only in aggregation of the properties of the compounds thereof or a process for producing such substance;
  (f) The mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning independently of one another in a known way;
  (g) A method or process of testing applicable during the process of manufacture for rendering the machine, apparatus, or other equipment more efficient or for the improvement or control of manufacture;
  (h) A method of agriculture or horticulture
  (i) Any process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic or other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals or plants to render them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their products".
4.   Search for Novelty - compulsory search is required extending to prior publications not only in India but also in any other part of the world.
5.   Patentability of Inventions in the Area of Chemicals, Food and Drugs - In case of inventions relating to substances intended for use as food, drug or medicines or substances produced by chemical process, Patentability will be limited to claims for the methods or processes of manufacture only.
6.   Term of Patent - The term of the patent in 14 years from the date of patenting, i.e., the date of filling the complete specification. In the case of inventions in the field of food, drug or medicine, the term will be 7 years from the date of filing or 5 years from the date of sealing, whichever is shorter.
7.   Licensing Provisions - 2 types of licenses: compulsory licenses and license of rights. Compulsory licenses enabling another party to work the patent can be applied for any time after the expiry of three years from the date of sealing of the patent.
  In the area of food, drug, medicine or chemical, after the expiry of three years from the date of patent grant, they shall be endorsed with the word "License of Right". These enable any interested person as a matter of right to be entitled to work such patents.
8.   Royalties - In the case of patents related to food, drug or medicines the royalty reserved to the patentee under a license shall not exceed 4% of the net ex-factory sale price in bulk of the patented article.
9.   Use of Patented Inventions by the Government - In order to ensure that scarcity of a patented article doesn't arise and lead to high prices, the government is vested with powers to make use of or exercise any patented invention merely for its own purpose.
10.   Appeals - In all cases, appeals will be only with the High Court.

OK     OK        OK          OK      OK     OK    OK
India’s Patent Policy and TRIPs
  The philosophy of India’s Patent Act of 1970 varies enormously from the framework being established under TRIPs. There are several knowledge and information areas which India considers unpatentable. India has a large community of scientists and researchers among whom publication rather than gaining patents has been a concern. G.V. Ramakrishna, Chairman of the Disinvestment Commission points out that in India, “We (Indians) are accustomed to the notion that knowledge is free. Our whole orientation has to change from one that stresses intellectual attainment to one that protects intellectual property.”  Industrialised nations conceive of patents as a fundamental right comparable to the right of physical property, whereas developing nations view it as “fundamentally as an economic policy question.”  From the perspective of developed countries, intellectual property is a private right that should be protected as any other tangible property, but for developing nations, intellectual property is a public good that should be used to promote economic development.  The following table illustrates the basic differences between India’s patent system and TRIPs:

Table 1*
         Comparison of India’s Patent Act and TRIPs

Indian Patent Act of 1970          TRIPs
Only process not product patents in food, medicines, chemicals
  Process and product patents in almost all fields of technology
Term of patents 14 years; 5-7 in chemicals, drugs   Term of patents 20 years

Compulsory licensing and license of right   Limited compulsory licensing, no license of right

Several areas excluded from patents (method of agriculture, any process for medicinal surgical or other treatment of humans, or similar treatment of animals and plants to render them free of disease or increase economic value of products)
  Almost all fields of technology patentable. Only area conclusively excluded from patentability is plant varieties; debate regarding some areas in agriculture and biotechnology
Government allowed to use patented invention to prevent scarcity   Very limited scope for governments to use patented inventions


India’s Negotiations on TRIPs
  India’s negotiating position within TRIPs and its policy on patents have undergone enormous shifts. India was one of the most vocal opponents of TRIPs and there was strong domestic support for India’s restricted system of patents for decades. Recently, India has revised its patent policy to conform to TRIPs and agreed to include IPR in the WTO. External trade threats were one of the factors that promoted this change, but the policy shift took place only with changes among actors within India. An interplay of domestic and international factors influence India’s ability to promote its interests in international negotiations. In order to formulate strategies for the future, it is important to analyze the role of these factors in prior negotiations. When was India able to put forth its position in the TRIPs negotiations and when did it fail to do so? This section traces the history of India’s negotiations on intellectual property rights beginning with the Uruguay Round and attempts to draw lessons for future policy.
Present: This shift enabled various domestic policy changes. India also changed its negotiating strategy within TRIPs.
India’s Patent Position
Recent changes in India’s patent policy have led to some review of India’s position on patents. In determining how India and other developing countries should negotiate in the WTO, it is important to understand where India stands in terms of patents. The recent surge in patent applications in India in the post-1995 period, which has not received attention in policy analysis, provides important data for evaluating the potential for domestic actors to adjust to the new patent regime. The number of patent applications filed in the Indian Patent Office has risen approximately 150% in 1997-98 from 1993-94, crossing the 10,000 mark for the first time in 1997-98 . A focus on these patent applications reveals that some domestic actors would be able to gain from the new regime by increasing their patent activity, while a majority of the actors would not be able to raise their patent filings, at least in the short term. Policy must therefore be redirected from a focus on increasing the patent activity of the few, to ensuring access for the majority.
Patent applications in India in the post-1995 period provide important, if not comprehensive, indicators of the likely impact of the policy reforms. There has been a significant increase in patent applications in India since 1994-95 as a result of the policy changes taking place in tune with the WTO

objectives and functions of WTO

Objective of World Trade Organization (WTO)
* To ensure the conduct the international trade on non-discrimination basis.
* To raise standard of living and income, ensuring full employment
* To expend production and trade
* Protecting environment
* Ensuring better share for developing countries.

» World Trade Organization (WTO)    
The International trade is based on multilateral trading system. It is a system involving trade amongst various countries. it is therefore, necessary that the rules and regulation of such system are properly define. In the year 1947, an attempt was made by 23 countries in the world to define the basic norms for conduct of international trade. The trade negotiation amongst these 23 countries in multilateral treaty called general agreement On Traffic and Trade (GATT) in the year 1948. The GATT was established to secure the conduct of international trade based on the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and liberalization.

The GATT had been organizing international trade negotiation to define the regulation for and strengthening multilateral trading system over the years. The latest round of international trade regulation was conducted under auspices of GATT from 1986 to 1993. It was on 15 December that the latest round of international trade negotiation among 117 countries was conducted at Uruguay. The agreement so conducted were signed on April 16,1994 by 123 countries. The agreement has come to known as a Uruguay round or the GATT 94. One of the agreements during the Uruguay round was regarding renaming of GATT as World Trade Organization (WTO). The GATT 1994 is being implemented with effect from 1 of January 1995 when the very first agreement regarding the establishment of world trade organization (WTO) was established. Thus the World Trade Organization (WTO) held its last round of international trade negotiation at Doha in July 2006. At present 151 countries are member of World Trade Organization (WTO).
Objective of World Trade Organization (WTO)
* To ensure the conduct the international trade on non-discrimination basis.
* To raise standard of living and income, ensuring full employment
* To expend production and trade
* Protecting environment
* Ensuring better share for developing countries.

Function of World Trade Organization (WTO)
* Administering World Trade Organization (WTO) trade agreement
* Forum the trade negotiation
* Handling trade disputes
* Monitoring national trade policy
* Technical assistance and training for developing countries
* Co-operation with other international organization (like help from World Bank and IMF).

Legal framework of World Trade Organization (WTO)
* Protection through import traffic
* Reduction in traffic and binding against further increase
* Conduct of trade according to M.F.N. clauses
* Commitment to national treatment rule.  

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