OUR WORK | JIRICO - JINDAL INITIATIVE ON RESEARCH IN IP AND COMPETITION

Building on the previous government’s declaration of 2010-2020 as the ‘decade for innovation’, the current Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rolled out elaborate plans to boost manufacturing in vital sectors such as ICT, automotive, defense, among others. The government is working towards making India’s IPR regime friendly towards investors and innovators. Since technological advancement is a proven driver of economic growth, the government is trying to incentivize innovation to ensure that ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Startup India’ initiatives are successful in the long run. The emphasis, particularly in R&D-intensive sectors, ought to be on promoting technological innovation and manufacturing rather than importing finished or semi-finished units, replicating products or relying only on generics.

The National IPR Policy unveiled in May 2016 is one such effort of the government where it proposes the primary use of IP as a financial asset and marketable tool for promotion of innovation to ensure economic growth and socio-cultural development. The policy proposes several strategic actions as well as legislative measures to achieve the given objective. It is imperative to understand factors that influence innovation in India and the role of IP in driving innovation in India to recognize the diversity of approaches undertaken by organizations. Further, there is a need to understand why different firms adopt different strategies to protect their investments in innovation. Answering these questions will bring coherence and effectiveness in policy making.

One strand of our ongoing research is devoted to better understand the current discourse on intellectual property rights in India, current innovation climate and patenting practices across Indian sectors. Dr. Ashish Bharadwaj is the lead researcher of this project, and Mr Dipinn Verma is providing valuable research assistance.

For more information about JIRICO Survey, please visit www.jiricoproject.com

The JIRICO Survey aims to systematically collect unique and original data from companies, research labs, universities and other organizations in India on enablers of innovation activity; mechanisms to safeguard R&D and innovation expenditure; obstacles to innovation; and drivers for patenting or not patenting the innovation outcomes. The JIRICO Survey is being administered to experts, including R&D officers, scientists, innovation managers, legal counsels and strategists who have an understanding of the underlying issues and are knowledgeable in the organizational domain wherein they are asked to respond. The findings of the survey will help us minutely understand the different appropriation instruments organizations rely on to protect returns to innovation, and the differences that exist between IP and non-IP instruments. The JIRICO Survey is based on the seminal academic work conducted in the United States and in Europe in the last thirty years, including (but not limited to) work by Mansfield (1986), Levin et al. (1987), Cohen et al. (2000), Arundel et al. (2006), Graham et al. (2009) and Arora et al. (2014).

The findings of the JIRICO Survey will address a number of important questions including:

  1. What is the extent to which firms (of different scale and size) undertake innovative activity and inventive processes? What are the obstacles (policy and market-related) faced by firms that do not engage in innovation?
  2. What motivates firms to undertake risky R&D and innovation activity?
  3. What are the strategies adopted by such firms to appropriate returns to innovation investments? Do these firms primarily rely on patents to appropriate returns or are there other IP and non-IP investments they rely on?
  4. What motivates firms to seek patent protection? Is it for defensive purposes (in litigations), to actively assert IP against infringers and rivals, to engage in cross-licensing arrangements, or to enhance brand value by creating and protecting intellectual property?
  5. How factors that facilitate and hinder innovation differ across industrial sectors, such as mobile communication, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, software, and biotech, especially for startups?
  6. Are there differences in how IP is perceived across sectors?
  7. What role does stringency and enforceability of IP rights play in India?
  8. What is the extent of commercialization of IP across sectors?
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