Intellectual Property Rights Current Affairs - 2020

GoI sets up Centre of Excellence for coir applications

The Coir Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IIT Madras. The memorandum aims to set up a Centre of Excellence for Coir Applications.

Highlights

Under the MoU, the Centre of Excellence is to extend the research work of the coir sector with the support of IIT Madras. The MoU will extend the use of Coir Geo Textiles. The Coir Geo Textiles are used to prevent soil erosion in river embankments, slopes and mine slope stabilization. The Coir Geo Textiles can also be used in low volume rural roads as re-enforcement material.

Role of Centre of Excellence

The Centre of Excellence of Coir applications will assist in generating technology transfer and Intellectual Property Rights. It will provide financial assistance of Rs 5 crores for a period of two years. Around 27 areas of Research and Development have been identified that are to be taken up by the Centre of Excellence. This includes 10 projects of IIT-Madras.

Significance of Coir

India and Sri Lanka are the leading producers of Coir. Together, they account to 90% of global coir fiber production.

In India about 5.5 lakh persons are employed in coir industry. The seventh and eight plans focused exquisitely on the development of coir industry. India utilises only 50% of the coconut husks in the coir industry. The remaining husks are used as fuel in rural areas. With just 50%, India today fulfils two-thirds of the coir product needs in the world.

India placed on the “Priority Watch List” for Intellectual Property Protection by the US

The United States of America has placed India on the “Priority Watch List” due to lack of measurable improvements in intellectual property framework.

Highlights

Along with India, the US has placed 10 countries including China in the list. The US has taken the step alleging that intellectual properties and their enforcements have deteriorated equitable market access for Americans in these countries. The other countries placed on the list include Argentina, Algeria, Chile, Russia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Ukraine.

The countries that were removed from the list included Canada, Kuwait and Thailand.

Why is India placed on the list?

According to the US, the IP challenges in India makes it difficult for the US businessmen to receive, maintain and enforce patents in the country. This is high mainly in pharmaceutical industries. The US also complains that India has restricted transparency in state issued pharmaceutical manufacturing licenses.

Apart from pharmaceuticals, there were issues in the Indian system in agricultural chemical products as well according the US. The issues include trade secret theft, online piracy, obstacles to protect trademarks, export of counterfeit goods, high-volume manufacturing.

Intellectual Property

According to World Intellectual Property Right Organization, the Intellectual Property is the creation of literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images. The four main intellectual property rights include inventions, geographic indications, trademarks and industrial designs.