The National Intellectual Property Conference, 2023 was organized by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, focusing on “Nurturing Growth of IP Driven Knowledge Economy” on October 13-14, 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi. The conference sought to examine new strategies and collaborative approaches for progressing intellectual property within the changing context of knowledge-based economies.
Inauguration of the conference was done by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry along with Mr. Daren Tang, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Over the course of a two-day national conference, meaningful and insightful discussions in relation to intellectual property rights transpired, with significant contributions from distinguished scholars in this domain.
Dr Yogesh Pai, Associate Professor of Law, DPIIT-IPR Chair and Co-Director, Centre for Innovation Intellectual Property and Competition (CIIPC), National Law University Delhi (NLUD) and Dr Annama Samuel, DPIIT IPR Chair Professor, Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) were panellists in a session titled “Geographical Indications’ Power as a Community IP Right” which was chaired by Dr Lisa P. Lukose, Professor of Law and Director, Legal Aid at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU).
DETAILS OF THE PROGRAMME
Dr Yogesh Pai began his talk with a historical background on why the GI legislation was enacted considering that TRIPS agreement allows GIs to be protected through any legal mechanism and does not require a sui generis law. In that sense, he noted that unlike TRIPs mandate regarding patents and some other IPRs, GI law was envisaged as to cater to indigenous needs of Indian GI producers, particularly communities and as a collective private property right. Secondly, he emphasised that GI law has a role in promoting culture as the subject of protection are cultural goods, particularly natural and agricultural goods. Third, he harped the need for more taking quality control and establishing inspection bodies seriously since many such inspection bodies are on paper or are partially functional, except in cases of certain prized export oriented GI products. While this is not a mandate cast upon the GI registry under the law, the need for such inspection chambers and bodies will become pertinent in the export market.
Such ecosystem challenges are to be resolved particularly in light of the European Union opening up to providing GI protection for non-agricultural products. Finally, he emphasised the phenomenal changes that the consultative committee established under rule 33 of the GI rules has changed from being adversarial to being truly consultative that provides handholding to applicants. This is in light of the fact the emphasis is on getting rural GI communities to own up the GI, including active participation in the registration process, and working with organisations facilitating the registration GIs.