739. We thank the proponents for their submission document IP/C/W/667.
740. My intervention under this agenda consists of two parts- first part highlights some of the initiatives taken by the Government of India to enhance awareness of IP rights among MSMEs and the second pertains to general remarks on some of the elements of the paper.
741. In India the MSME sector, through more than 8,000 products, ranging from traditional to high tech precision items, contributes about 45% to the total manufacturing output and 40% to the exports. The MSME sector has the potential to spread industrial growth across the country and can be a major partner in the process of inclusive growth. India has undertaken several initiatives for enhancing the contribution of IP assets in growth and development of MSMEs. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises, in 2014, launched Guidelines on Implementation of the Scheme Building Awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (A Component of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme), which include measures for the protecting their ideas and business strategies. This scheme undertakes several activities such as organizing awareness/sensitization programmes, specialized trainings, assistance in grant of patent and GIs, among others. In addition, in 2019, Government proposed a reduction in IPR registration fees for MSMEs and start-ups, to encourage more MSMEs to register their IPRs. Various roadshows are also being organized on 'IPR and National IP Policy' to appraise MSMEs about the benefits of IP filings.
742. I will now switch over to general remarks on the submission.
743. The submission mentions- 'Governments can support strategic IP portfolio's protection and enforcement by ensuring strong legal structures for both patents and trade secrets.'
744. In this context, could the proponents explain what do they mean by strong legal structures and how will they impact the entry of new players in the market? Also, what would be the adverse impact of protection and enforcement of strategic IP portfolio on transfer of technology and hence, promotion of innovation among MSMEs?
745. Could the proponents also explain the meaning of "measures that enable the use of digital establishment of evidence supporting unregistered IPs"?
746. Further, what does the term "synergistic effects of registered and unregistered IPs" signify? We believe that synergism in terms of registered and unregistered IP has not been solemnised under the TRIPS Agreement and thereby TRIPS Council is not an appropriate forum for such discussion.