ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Alternative Model for IPRs-Lessons from World of Publishing

Lessons from World of Publishing MWB THE winter session of parliament has concluded and the Patents (Reform) Bill of 1995 continues to remain in limbo. Recall that the Rao administration attempted to stealthily reform the Patents Act of 1970 during the 1995 budget session of parliament; this was after having originally promulgated the desired changes through a presidential ordinance at the beginning of the year. This reform was to be the first step towards bringing India's intellectual property rights (IPR) laws in line with the guidelines set forth in the Dunkel Draft. (India is required to make these changes to comply with World Trade Organisation rules.) Opposition parties, led by the BJP and the leftists, chose to attack the proposed reforms as antithetical to Indian interests. The Patents Bill gained approval in the Lok Sabha, but the Congrcss(I) never brought it to a vote in the Rajya Sabha fearing an embarrassing defeat. Upon the opposition's insistence, the bill was then referred to a parliamentary select committee where it remains. The committee has only recently begun to meet. In all likelihood, the committee (a majority of whose members tilt towards the ruling party) will make some minor changes in the bill and send it back to the parliament. Given the present stalemate in the legislature, however, no decisions will be reached until after the next general elections.

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