New Head to Steer Indian Government Policies on Intellectual Property Protection

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A new government has been formed in India post the elections that concluded recently. The new government is led by the same political party that led the previous government. While Mr. Narendra Modi retains his position as India’s prime minister, there has been shuffling and introduction of new members into the union cabinet.

Among the cabinet ministers is Mr. Piyush Goyal, who took charge as Minister of Commerce and Industry. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (commonly referred as Indian Intellectual Property Office – IPO) functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI). Consequently, Mr. Goyal will not only have a major role to play in steering government policies on intellectual property protection, but also in the functioning of the IPO.

Mr. Goyal is perceived to be a very competent minister and has held key portfolios in the previous government. He has extraordinary academic qualification, which many may argue makes him apt for the current job. As also mentioned on his personal website, he is all-India second rank holder Chartered Accountant and second rank holder in Law in Mumbai University. He was a well-known investment banker and has advised top corporates on management strategy and growth.

Mr. Goyal comes in at a time in which there is sustained pressure, especially from the US, to dilute some of the clauses of the patent statute, which can largely benefit pharmaceutical and agri-biotech industries. Also, the IPO has made considerable progress in its digitization efforts over the past few years. We hope there is exponential progress in the digitization front and policy adaptations to meet the everchanging innovation and social dynamics.

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