Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the government will ensure protection of intellectual property rights of film and music industry as any kind of piracy is “absolutely unacceptable”. Addressing participants of three-day national workshop on enforcement of intellectual property rights, the minister said the film and music industry representatives have been in a constant engagement with the ministry on IPR related issue. Without naming the film, Sitharaman said a famous box- office hit film in India has already been pirated and people are getting it at their door steps, “which is absolutely unacceptable”.
“We are ensuring that their call for protecting the rights of music and film will be fully attended to,” she said, adding the government would soon appoint chairman of intellectual property appellate board together with copyright board. She said the government values the rights of IPR holders. “Telugu film industry and Film Chamber of Commerce have been approaching Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) to know their IP rights and ways to protect them,” she added. Talking about the workshop, Sitharaman said through this exercise the ministry is trying to build awareness about protection of IPRs.
“We are going to bring in certain level of credibility and build awareness among people who are IP holders and institutions which should know where they have to intervene, so that rule of law play its role,” she added. The minister informed that special courts are being set up for speedy resolution of disputes. The ministry is also encouraging institutionalised arbitration processes to settle cases outside courts. Further, Sitharaman added that embassies too have a critical role to play in this area. She informed that a government’s task force on innovation has submitted its report and the ministry is “engaged to understand what they can draw from it and to do better in innovation”.
Speaking at the function, secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said the ministry is taking steps to reduce time for examination of patent and trademark applications. He said 458 new patent examiners have been recruited besides 57 regular trademark examiners. Augmentation of manpower has helped in reducing examination time for trademarks from 13 months to one months. “The examination of patent applications in the first four months this year has shot up 5-fold to over 16,000,” he added. The 3-day workshop is being organised to increase awareness about IP rights amongst officials of enforcement agencies such as police and customs.
The workshop acts as a platform for the officials to share their experiences, best practices and better inter- agency coordination. The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), a professional body under the aegis of the DIPP is organising this event. This exercise is part of the implementation of the national IPR policy, released by the government last year. The policy lays down seven objectives, including awareness, generation of IPRs and legal and legislative framework.