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Title: Exploring the Possibilities of Utility Models Patent Regime for Grassroots Innovations in India
Authors: Sharma, Gautam
Kumar, Hemant
Keywords: Patents;Utility models;Informal sector innovations;Grassroots innovations;Paris Convention;TRIPS Agreement;Jugaad;International Labour Organisation;Malaysian Foundation for Innovation;National Innovation Foundation;National IPR Policy
Issue Date: Mar-2018
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Patents are considered to be the most authoritative rights which incentivise the knowledge producer. However, the current patent system is criticised by many scholars for favouring the formal sector industries of the economy having a large market and resources for commercialising their innovations. Today there are many innovations which emerge from the informal economies of the low-income nations like India which consists mostly of imitation and adaptation of the existing technologies. Many of these innovations fall short of the strict patentability and non-obviousness criteria. Further, the costs associated with applying for the patents discourage many innovators from the informal sector to make use of these rights. The ‘grassroots’ innovations in India represent the informal sector innovations which have been developed by poor people at grassroots to provide solutions for their own problems. With a view to promote and foster grassroots innovations, this paper studies the potential of ‘utility models’ as a tool to protect the innovations in the informal economy of India. By analysing the patenting data of grassroots innovations in India and conducting interviews with the grassroots innovators, the study finds that the existing IPR regime in India fails to protect all the incremental and minor innovations emerging from its informal economy.
Page(s): 119-130
ISSN: 0975-1076 (Online); 0971-7544 (Print)
Appears in Collections:JIPR Vol.23(2-3) [March-May 2018]

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