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A landmark step has been recently taken forward by India in its journey of becoming a major power in innovation globally. This step will further help India in working upon the objectives of its National IPR Policy, 2016. India and the US have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding a few days back with the aim to have co-operation on intellectual property examination, its protection, and for the strengthening of the IP systems in and between both countries. MoU will be valid and applicable to both nations for the next 10 years.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU or MoU) can be understood as an agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document. However, it is not legally binding upon anyone but it shows the intentions and willingness of the parties to move forward with a contract. The MoU can be seen as the starting point for further negotiations as it helps in defining the scope and purpose of the talks. Such memoranda are generally seen in international treaty negotiations. Apart from such, they also may be seen being used in high stake business dealings.
The MoU was basically signed between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) of India. MoU was signed in a virtual ceremony organized for this purpose only where Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, Andrei Iancu was representing USPTO and Secretary of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Guruprasad Mohapatra was representing India’s DPIIT. The previous MoU between India and the US has expired about nine years ago. Hence, a new MoU was signed.
The Union Cabinet waived green flags by giving its approval for signing the MoU with USPTO in February 2020. The two sides also agreed to collaborate in various things such as training programs, exchange of experts, technical exchanges, and outreach activities.
“The memorandum will strengthen the intellectual property (IP) systems of both countries, enabling further innovation and growth,” said Iancu. “It (the latest agreement) will help tie our nations even closer, and it will fortify our commitment to the IP rights of all of our citizens, and the many hundreds of companies that operate in both our markets,” he further added. The present agreement between the nation’s talks about a wide range of cooperative activities related to securing, using, and enforcing IP rights in different fields of patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, and industrial designs.
The MoU is looking forward to facilitating the exchange and dissemination of one of the best practices, experiences, and knowledge on IP available amongst the public, as well as between and among the industries, universities, research and development organizations, and also the small and medium-sized enterprises by the way of their participation in various programs and events being organized.
Cooperation will include understanding various issues that are related to traditional knowledge along with the exchange of best practices which include everything related to traditional knowledge databases. Raising awareness on the use of existing various IP systems for achieving the aim of protection of traditional knowledge also comes under the concept of cooperation.
“The MoU will go a long way in fostering the cooperation between India and the US and provide opportunities to both countries to learn from the experience of each other, especially in terms of best practices followed in the other country,” the official release pointed out.