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Collaborative Strides: India and UK Join Hands to Modernize Intellectual Property Rights

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on August 22, 2023

Intellectual property rights (IPRs) emerge as a crucial factor for nations fostering economic development and collaboration in the global business and innovation landscape. Intellectual property consists of a wide range of creative efforts, from copyrights protecting artistic expressions to patents covering innovative inventions. This multidimensional landscape of IPRs is being diligently redefined through collaborative dialogues and mutual commitments to improve trade relations and foster innovation, while also protecting creators’ rights.

The strategic alliance between India and the United Kingdom represents the utmost importance of IPRs in present-day trade relations. In the constantly evolving global business landscape, India is a prominent priority market for the UK. The alignment of the IPR regimes of these countries with World Trade Organisation directives further demonstrates a shared commitment to fostering innovation and trade relations.[1]

This collaborative initiative, led by India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, demonstrates the governments’ shared commitment to modernizing IPRs and aligning the IP regime with global standards. The emphasis on harmonizing the regime with international standards represents a strategic approach to ensuring a smooth transition that pushes India’s economy into the era of competitiveness and development, with deeper economic cooperation between India and the UK. This article aims to analyze the growing importance of IPRs and the objective of this collaborative initiative in the following manner:

  • Significance of IPRs
  • India’s Commitment to IPR Modernization
  • The Collaborative Endeavour between India and the UK and the Way Forward

Significance of IPRs

IPRs play a crucial role in driving innovation, economic development, and cultural enrichment in the contemporary global environment. Depending on the kind of creation, IPRs serve as both a safeguard and a catalyst for the development and distribution of novel goods and services. IPRs particularly provide start-ups and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) with powerful means to compete with established entities and undergo significant growth in their respective industries.

IPRs generate several benefits for their owners and the general public. They provide avenues for indirect revenues, enabling businesses to monetize their innovations through licensing agreements with third parties, thereby exceeding direct marketing profits. This is particularly advantageous for SMEs and academic institutions with limited production capabilities.

IPRs strengthen the cultural fabric in the domain of creativity by allowing creators to reap economic benefits from copyright protections. This sustains publishing, music, and film industries, enriching cultural heritage, and nurturing diversity. In addition, IPRs facilitate the sharing of technical knowledge, with patents surfacing as invaluable repositories of cutting-edge technological information, thereby enhancing research, development, and innovation. IPRs serve as essential pillars of the contemporary knowledge-based economy by encouraging technology transfer, business intelligence collection, and even supporting the ‘open source’ movement. These rights not only stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation, but they also support safety standards, safeguard consumers from counterfeit products, and serve as the foundation for international cooperation, investment, and innovations in technology.

India’s Commitment to IPR Modernization

The rise of India as an emerging economic powerhouse is intrinsically connected to its unwavering dedication to modernizing, transforming, and strengthening its IPR landscape. India’s proactive approach to IPR policy development is at the forefront of this transformation.

  • The introduction of the National IPR Policy in 2016[2] was a significant step in the promotion of “Creative India; Innovative India.” The policy streamlines the IPR process and also seeks to strike a balance between the interests of IP owners and the public.
  • India’s initiatives to digitalize IP registration and prosecution demonstrate its commitment to digital transformation.[3] The incorporation of technology and IT tools into the filing and examination processes has exponentially increased productivity.
  • India’s support of the Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) Scheme[4] demonstrates its commitment to fostering innovation. This programme, which provides legal and financial assistance to start-ups, promotes IP protection, and expedites patent examination, thus increasing patent and trademark applications from start-ups.
  • Moreover, India’s progressive approach extends to education, where the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education is fostering IP literacy and innovation among students.[5] India is paving the way for sustainable growth by fostering a new generation of innovators who recognize the significance of intellectual property protection.
  • In addition, the restructuring of the IPR adjudication system, as evidenced by the formation of Intellectual Property Rights Divisions in High Courts, shows India’s dedication to the expedient resolution of IP disputes.[6] These divisions expedite the resolution of intellectual property disputes and alleviate the backlog of pending cases.

All these initiatives demonstrate India’s dedication to IPR modernization and greater alignment with international standards.

The Collaborative Endeavour between India and UK and the Way Forward

The Collaborative Initiative

India and the UK have started a collaborative effort to modernize their IPR frameworks, reflecting their shared commitment to promoting innovation, economic growth, and global integration. During a discussion with chartered accountants of Indian descent in the UK, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, emphasized the continuous effort to align Indian protocols with international norms.

The initiative includes intellectual property rights and modernization (IPR&M). The goal is to improve India’s IPR protocols and related areas while harmonizing them with international standards to facilitate rapid economic growth. Minister Goyal revealed that this collaboration also focuses on quality standards, with initiatives led by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for non-food products and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for food products.

Although the process is gradual, Minister Goyal expressed India’s determination to make it a preferred destination by incorporating global standards and IP perspectives. He highlighted the ongoing negotiations with multiple economies, including the UK, to strengthen India’s IPR landscape. The ultimate objective is for Indian standards to be acknowledged as world-class, fostering global acceptability in the coming years.

Analysis and the Way Forward

India and the UK’s initiative to modernize IPRs represents a strategic partnership toward promoting innovation and harmonizing IPR frameworks for global economic growth. This cooperation aims to establish an efficient system by combining knowledge, fostering domestic innovation, attracting foreign investments, and facilitating technological collaborations. As the collaboration progresses, a balanced approach that ensures harmony between the protection of intellectual property rights and the promotion of open innovation is essential. To maximize the initiative’s potential, it is essential to strengthen IPR enforcement, facilitate technology transfer, and promote cross-border collaborations.


India’s proactive efforts to improve its IPR environment demonstrate its commitment to innovation-driven growth. With the implementation of the National IPR Policy, the digitalization of registration processes, the SIPP Scheme, and the establishment of specialized IP Divisions in High Courts, India has worked diligently to align itself with global standards. Collaboration with the UK demonstrates India’s intention to build a robust ecosystem that attracts investment, fosters innovation, and harmonizes IPR frameworks for sustainable economic growth. Together with the nation’s commitment to striking a balance between IPR protection and open innovation, these endeavors are significant steps towards becoming a global economic power.

What is India’s approach to modernizing IP?

Answer: India has been working actively to modernize its IP landscape through initiatives like the National IPR Policy, digitization of IP registration processes, establishment of specialized IP divisions in High Courts, etc. to promote innovation, protect creator’s rights, and attract investments.

What is the contribution of the India-UK collaboration in modernizing IP?

The India-UK collaboration aligns IPR protocols, encourages innovation, and enhances economic growth by aligning standards, promoting, and encouraging open innovation while attracting investments and technological collaborations.

What are the key benefits of India’s IPR initiatives?

India’s IPR initiatives stimulate economic growth, encourage innovation, particularly among start-ups, and attract foreign investments while ensuring the protection of IPRs. This will position India as an attractive destination for global trade and collaboration.







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