Intellectual Property and Its Pervasiveness in Industry Trade and Commerce

Intellectual Property And Its Pervasiveness In Industry Trade And Commerce.

What Is Intellectual Propoerty:-

Property which comes from the Human Brain and for which Government gives protection is called Intellectual Property Right(IPR). Trademark.Patent,copyright,geographical location are few examples of Intellectual Property(IP). Intellectual property has gained in prominence in many fields of business in recent times. Today, it is a major asset for many of the world’s most powerful companies. The intellectual property of a company is its legally protectable and exploitable invisible assets .It is a sub-set of assets known as “intangibles”. The term “intellectual property (IP)” refers to property in a legal sense. It is something which can be owned and dealt with. The legal rights that give rise to intellectual property are usually referred to as “intellectual property rights (lPRs)”. There are several types of IPRs that qualify as intellectual property. The most widely known lP category is patents. Other categories include copyrights, trade marks, design rights, trade secrets and plant breeders’ rights. In the emerging knowledge economy, lP has become a critical success factor for most high- It is an Intangible Asset.But the future benefits to be derived is uncertain. Hence valuation cannot be made correctly.

It has no objectivity or supporting documents unlike our accounting system which is based on objectivity.


For most of the 19th century, the USA provided no copyright protection for foreign

authors; the argument was that it needed the freedom to copy in order to educate the new nation. Similarly, parts of Europe built their industries by copying the inventions of

others. The same model was followed later by Japan and even later, after the second world war, by both South Korea and Taiwan.

Today, however, developing countries do not have the luxury to take their time over lntellectual Property Rights (IPR). As a part of the trade deal hammered out nine years ago, countries joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) also signed up to TRIPS (trade-related aspects of IPR), which include patents, copyright, trade marks, trade secrets, geographical indicators and such other items. The poor-er countries of the world were given until 2006 to comply in full with the requirements of this treaty.

Contrary to popular perception, TRIPS does not create a universal patent system..

Rather, it lays down the ground rules describing the protection that a country’s legal system must provide, Much of the recent debate over the impact of IPR on the poor has

centred on the issues of access to expensive medicines, In April 2001, South Africa won a victory against major drug companies fighting patent reform there, allowing access to cheaper versions of patented rnedicines for AIDS, Encouraged, the developing countries issued a declaration at the WTO meeting at Doha in November 2001 asserting the primacy of public health over IPR. They also resolved that the least-developed countries should bo given at least until 2016 to introduce patent protection for pharmaceuticals.

Tricky Proposition:-

For the last one year, the (World Trade Organisation)WTO council responsible for TRIPS was involved with a tricky proposition : ‘compulsory licensing”- the manufacture and marketing of a patented drug without the patent-holders consent, This provision has been available since the formation of the WTO and Brazil has already used the threat of “compulsory licensing” to ring substantial price discounts out of major patent-holding drug companies. This has boon permitted under contain conditions, including national emergencies and can be used by countries such as Brazil or India, which have domestic drug industries to copy the medicines. The problem comes with countries that have no drug makers, They can import generic copies from the likes of India. But, can they do so after 2005, when these copying exporting countries are supposed to have fallen in with the TRIPS line? The big patent-holding drug firms in rich countries have worried that Indian and other companies might abuse the deal to flood their markets To arrive at a compromise, the TRIPS council of the WTO Issued a declaration just before the Cancun ministerial started in September 2003,saying that countries could override patents only “in good faith, to

protect public health’, Special measures are also stipulated, such as different shapes, color and packaging, to prevent these generic drugs from getting into rich countries’ markets.

Not such a Big Deal:-

“Compulsory Licensing” involves poor countries like Kenya, Uganda or South Africa- unable to copy patented medicines to fight scourges like Aids-importing cheaper copies from India. The concerned governments will have to sure public d to people who need such medicines and thus money needed for Imports. Therefore the afflicted countries will have to depend on rich country donors to find tho money. Alternatively, they can approach world bodies which are again funded by rich countries, As such, even though the margin (difference in prices between patented drugs end Indian copies) can be fairly high, these are not really “lucrative” markets. There are also at the vexed questions of red tape and government inefficiency.

Look at Ourselves:-

In India, to stop and reduce the spread of Tuberculosis there is already in place a framework for Directly Observed Therapy Short-course (DOTS), overseen by several world bodies and our government. The growing number of tuberculosis cases, combined with HI V/Aids, places an immense burden on tuberculosis control activities, The Indian pharmaceutical industry does not look at the prospect (“No sale of over-the-counter prescribed medicines”) – with relish. Perhaps, there is a lesson in this : not a moral lesson (involving right or wrong) but an ethical one (involving fairness or unfairness). There is a limit on profits for drugs fighting public scourges, particularly in poorer countries. Perhaps, there is no scope for “sadistine” pleasure in others’ misfortunes.

Medicines for rich (and poorer countries too:-

Diseases afflict people in rich countries also. There are two separate kinds of enormous opportunities here.

First: For the research-oriented Indian pharmaceutical companies like Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy’s and many others inventions (and delivery) of new drugs are no longer a possibility but a reality, They will be interested In protecting their IPR through suitable patents.

Second: A large number of drugs are going off-patent in the US market very soon, In other words generic versions of these drug can be made by anybody, legally-If they are able to do so. And the Indian pharmaceutical companies – several of them are able to do ao in the most cost-competitive way. During the first six months of the calendar year, thirty four Indian companies made fifty eight filings (called Drug Master Files-DMF’s) more than the combined total of the next five countries. (Itally 21, China 10, Israel 9, Hungary 9 and Spain 5). Outside the US, India h thu highest number of FDA approved manufacturing plants. In fact, the number of such facilities is almost equal to that of approved plants in the US.

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