Special Courts To Handle IPR Cases

New Delhi, Aug 24 | Updated: Aug 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to tackle the growing menace of counterfeiting, the government on Tuesday, yielded with, at least, one suggestion: setting up of special courts for speedy disposal of cases related to infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR). The idea was mooted by minister of state for law and justice K Venkatapathy at a CII seminar on counterfeiting and piracy.

Recommending a multi-pronged approach to tackle the situation, the minister said judiciary should be entrusted with the task of handling the issues regarding IP infringement exclusively. Industry representatives, however, felt that judiciary, too needed orientation and special training to handle such cases.

Welcoming the ministers idea of setting up of special courts, India Inc felt that even if two such courts were set up, say in Delhi and Mumbai, that would set the precedent of implementation of IP laws. CII, meanwhile on the occasion, also announced the launch of its anti-counterfeiting alliance.

The alliance, which has various companies as its members across sectors like music, automobiles, FMCG, publishing and others, plans to work towards countering the increasing menace of counterfeiting.

It may be mentioned that a working group has already been set up by the government under the Department of Consumer Affairs specifically for counterfeit, fake, spurious, and contraband products, comprising representatives of various stakeholder ministries and representatives of CII, Assocham, Ficci and NGOs. The industry expects recommendations of this working group to help focus on particular issues.

In the auto industry, counterfeit spares which have captured about 40 per cent of the Rs 15,000-crore replacement market will create a roadblock in outsourcing by global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The strategy of the auto industry should be to create a strong alliance of OEMs, auto component makers, customs, law enforcement agencies and government to tackle the problem and prevent the menace, Mahindra & Mahindra executive vice-president Rajeev Dubey said at a session on counterfeiting in the auto component sector.

Giving statistics, he said about 2-5 per cent of the global replacement market was controlled by counterfeits, with 10 per cent in Europe and 30 per cent in West Asia.

The need is to make laws more stringent on trading of counterfeit components.

The head of Tata Motors non-vehicle business RK Ghosh said that the company had been trying to control the problem by having a uniform maximum retail price of all parts across the country.