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12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 10, 2005
 |  BioCentury  |  Politics, Policy & Law

Trust, but verify

India has introduced the product patent protection it promised to have in place at the start of this year, bringing it into compliance with its World Trade Organization commitments and taking the country a step closer to integrating its biotech and pharmaceutical sectors into the global economy. But it will take at least a year of implementation before international and Indian drug developers will be able to make well-informed decisions about the strength of the new IP protections.

The transition from an IP free-fire zone to one with rules of engagement similar to those in the U.S. and Europe is going to be complex, as there is an awkward process for introducing protections for innovations created over the last decade.

The key test of the new rules will be how competently the office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks implements them, as well as the speed and competency of the judiciary in interpreting them.

Leaders of Indian research-based companies say they are confident that the new patent law will be implemented reasonably efficiently, as the government now understands that IP protections can provide India with a major competitive advantage over competitors like China.

Victory for innovators

The government introduced product patents on Dec. 26, 2004, in an ordinance...

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