The legal regime for protection of Intellectual Property in India has undergone significant changes since India’s accession to WTO in 1995. Several amendments were made in the existing legislation in order to comply with the international agreements, especially TRIPS. Example may be cited from the Patents Act 1970.
The obligation of compliance with the TRIPS agreement led to enactment of Patents Amendment Act 2005 which included a higher threshold for inventive step and a prohibition from patenting new forms of known substances which do not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of these substances.
With this incorporation, India is firmly committed to resist dilution of patent standard. However, it is also equally important to recognize and support the wide spectrum of innovative activity in India which may not have fulfilled the conditions for patentability under the Patents Act.
In this context, efforts have been made to introduce a new form of intellectual property, called ‘utility model’ to provide protection to such technologies which do not meet the tough and high standards of patent requirement but nevertheless are worthy of protection for their ingenuity and usefulness.
In a resource constrained economy like India, one cannot deny the fact that these minor technical inventions which frugally use local resources in a sustainable manner need to be encouraged by providing a legal framework for their protection and commercial exploitation. Such useful, low cost and relatively simple innovations may have commercial value only for a limited time period, before they are replaced by other products or rendered redundant by improvements in technology.
Keeping in mind that such products will primarily be driven by the Small and medium Enterprises (SME) sector, protection would be useful and relevant only if it were provided legal protection, which can be made possible through a suitably designed utility model framework.
Introduction of a legal framework for protection of utility model in India has been one of the frequently debated issues. India is a country which witnesses end number of innovations every year, be it the product or the process, which are useful to the society.
The database prepared by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) clearly indicates this scenario. In the light of the fact that India has set a very strong standard for patentability, the question arises as to how to encourage the technically less complex, not so unique but useful innovations.
The argument in favour of having a legislation for protection of utility models in India is based on the following factors:
- It will provide incentive for faster disclosure
- It will generate a pool of incremental innovations which may trigger new innovations.
- Possession of some kind of legal protection will also facilitate actual commercialization of the incremental inventions since larger companies/corporations tend to be more amenable to dealing with a legally entitled/authorized right holder of an invention be it in terms of licensing, assignments etc. of the intellectual property.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry came up with a background paper in 2011 on possibility of introducing utility model protection in India and inviting comments on a series of issues ranging from the need of a law recognizing ‘utility model’ to the scope and possible framework.
Accordingly, the Government came up with a draft legislation on Utility Model. However, it was later proposed to scrap the model bill and instead bring about small changes in the Design Act 2000 to protect utility inventions and help in their commercial exploitation. In this background, ITMU Law School is organizing a workshop on “Utility Model: Legal Response” on May 4, 2013.
Theme of the Workshop:
The focus of the workshop is to look into the existing scenario on legal protection of utility models in India and to make a comparative analysis of utility model legislation of various countries with a view to explore the possibility of having a legislation in India.
Note: Workshops, Seminars and Conferences at ITMU Law School are not intended to provide a stage for discussing overview/introduction/fundamentals of law.
Issues discussed herein are to be treated and addressed as ‘Research Topics’ leading to intellectual discussion and debate.
Papers are required to evidence the author’s sound understanding of Intellectual Property Rights. Hence, papers whose contents are substantially generic in nature are likely to be summarily rejected during the course of reviewing.
Call for papers:
Research papers are invited from Scholars, Researchers, Practitioners, Academicians and Students on issues related to the above theme. Authors of selected papers will be given an opportunity to present their paper in the workshop. Joint authorship is permitted, subject to a maximum of two co-authors.
On approval through a peer-reviewing process, the best papers shall be published in the inaugural issue of the ITMU Law Review.
Guideline for Submission of Papers:
Full Length Paper should not exceed 5 pages. It must be typed in Times New Roman Font Size 12 on A4 paper with 1” margin on all sides with single line spacing using MS Word.
Use of Blue Book style of referencing and footnote is encouraged. A brief profile of the author indicating his/her designation, email ID, contact number and address has to be sent along with the abstract (250-300 words) of the paper to the Organizing Secretary.
- Deadline of Abstract Submission : May 10, 2013
- Notification of Acceptance : May 13, 2013
- Deadline of Full Paper Submission : May 20, 2013
- Workshop Date : June 1, 2013
Abstracts have to be emailed to the following:
After acceptance of the abstract, the full paper should also be sent to the same email-ids.
Registration Fees for Paper Presenters/Participants: Rs. 500
Note: Fee is to be paid on the day of workshop. All the participants will be provided with certificate of participation.
Due to budgetary constraints, no TA/DA shall be provided. Accommodation for outstation participants can be arranged on request in writing, at the rate of Rs.600/- per night on twin sharing basis.
For Further Information, please contact:
Ms. Archana Sarma
Asst. Prof. of Law
Workshop on Utility Model: Legal Response
ITMU Law School
Tel: 91-124-2365811 to 12 Extn. 270
Mob- +91 9717331704