India Says: 'There Is No Direct Correlation Between IP And Innovation'

from the they-get-it dept

Techdirt has been pointing out for years that more patents is not the same thing as more innovation, even though many around the world would have us believe otherwise. It seems the message is finally getting through: here’s a remarkable statement from India on the subject of innovation and small- and medium-sized companies, made at a TRIPS Council meeting:

there is no direct correlation between IP and Innovation even for the Small and Medium Industries. The technological progress even in the developed world had been achieved not through IP protection but through focussed governmental interventions like compulsory licenses, cross licensing, government funding, and competition policy. It is unfortunate that some of the technologically developed countries would like to showcase the positive effect of IP on innovation, when historically these countries including the proponents of this Agenda Item have reached this stage of technological development by focussing solely on the development of their own domestic industry without caring for the intellectuals property rights of the foreigners or the right holders. After achieving a high level of development, they are now attempting to perpetuate their hold on their technologies by making a push towards a TRIPS plus regime.

The last part is a clear dig at the US, which began as a pirate nation, but is now trying to impose the highest level of protection for intellectual monopolies on countries that are still at an early stage of their development, through the many bilateral treaties it has signed with them, as well as things like ACTA and TPP. The statement from India goes on:

Their agenda is not to create an environment where developing countries progress technologically, but to block their progress through the stringent IP regime. It is therefore essential that the flexibilities provided by the TRIPS Agreement need to be secured at any cost, if the people in the developing countries are to enjoy the benefits of innovations.

That is, far from acting as a spur to innovation in countries like India, intellectual monopolies prevent small- and medium-sized companies there from progressing to the point where they are able to compete in global markets with the Western enterprises that are pushing for stricter enforcement of patents and trademarks. This is why emerging countries would do well to think twice before signing up to restrictive FTAs and wide-ranging agreements like TPP that are specifically designed to keep them at a lower level of technological development.

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Comments on “India Says: 'There Is No Direct Correlation Between IP And Innovation'”

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34 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

That’s remarkably sane and well stated. India does have some history with copyright (Bollywood movies comes to mind) but after a while they realized the enforcement did more harm than good.

And one just has to look at the litigation carnival in the US to realize IP does more harm than good in its current state.

We need more countries pushing back. Hopefully it’s not only talks from India.

Edward Teach says:

Re: Litigation Carnival!

My mate Ninja writes:

And one just has to look at the litigation carnival in the US to realize IP does more harm than good in its current state.

Arrrr! Belay that nonsense! How would those in the scuppers of society, “Intellectual Property” lawyers, keep a house over their heads, and provide for their young ‘uns without such a carnival? Look at the lubbers of Prenda Law, for just such a crew of pitiful souls. No earthly skills among the lot, short of “IP” pick pocketing and ransom. Despite the lack of niceity, Steele has enough lodging to need a caretaker, albeit one he treats poorly!

No, no, if all good souls want to provide for the undesirables, then let said pariahs work as “IP” lawyers, where their natural larcenous spirit is an advantage, rather than a sin!

bob (profile) says:

Oh really?

Compare the innovation coming out of the US with Somalia. On one side, you have the kind of place that you think is the worst of all possible worlds. Innovators are stopped by patents, copyrights, the DMCA and untold other regulations. On the other side is pure, libertarian freedom. Where are the startups flocking?

While I admire much about India and certainly celebrate it’s innovation, no one can deny that its pharma companies are known for knocking off the innovations that come from the IP heavyweights.

This sounds like more wishful blindness from this blog.

bobb (profile) says:

Re: Re: Oh really?

Again, no government means no IP regulation. According to Mike’s thesis, innovation should just be exploding from Somalia.

Can you point to any new drug or cool startup that began in India? Every firm I’ve dealt with always sells the cheap labor in India or China, they never say, “Check out this product developed overseas.” (Europe doesn’t count because it’s an IP stronghold.)

I’m sure there must be some examples, especially given the law of large numbers, but I have trouble thinking of any. Can you help?

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh really?

I’m sure there must be some examples, especially given the law of large numbers, but I have trouble thinking of any. Can you help?

Brazil. China. INDIA itself. I’m focusing on general intellectual property related stuff so research outside huge industries is included.

Focusing on Brazil I already thought of a huge Brazilian laboratory: http://www.ache.com.br/ingles/company.shtml
Remember: Brazil broke medicine patents in favor of generics and overall IP is fairly weak here (we don’t have a defined copyright legal framework like the DMCA). You also have Taurus (www.taurususa.com/) from Brazil. You have Vale (Brazil), ArcelorMittal (India). You have Petrobras with pioneer deepwater drilling technology in Brazil.

As you see, once you stop being stupid and compare apples to apples (you know, countries that are politically stable) you start noticing how IP doesn’t really matter.

Oh and as a bit of news to you, ECAD (Brazilian ASCAP-like) was fined along with 6 other artists organizations for price fixing: http://blogs.estadao.com.br/tatiana-dias/ecad-e-condenado-por-formacao-de-cartel/ (it seems my Government is doing it right in the copyright front despite some setbacks and a whole lot of pressure from the US)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh really?

And just to reinforce the point, taken from Media Piracy in Emerging Economies:

New players like Moser Baer have negotiated rights to popular Indian films on terms that permit much lower pricing?as low as Rs.40 ($0.85 cents) for VCDs and Rs.99 ($2.12) for DVDs. Some blockbuster films have been kept out of the price war, such as Ghajini, which costs Rs.199 ($4.24) on VCD and Rs.399 ($8.50) on DVD. But most traditional home-video distribution companies, such as Shemaroo and Eagle, have been forced to reduce their prices to stay competitive. In 2008, T-Series dropped the average price of its VCD releases of new films to Rs.38 in a bid to compete.

As a result, the difference in cost between a pirated and an original copy of a Bollywood film is far less than for a Hollywood title?often a factor of two rather than ten or more. This difference has proved small enough to produce dramatic increases in legal DVD sales. Sales of over a million discs for major releases have become relatively common. The Moser Baer DVD of the hit Jab We Met sold over six million discs when it was released on home video, five weeks after it hit theatres in 2008.

http://piracy.americanassembly.org/the-report/

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh really?

Yes but the problem there is that it isn’t about USA ‘Hollywood’ movies.

Didn’t you know that Hollywood is the only indicator of what movies are, no one else can create or even think of creating good movies unless they are solely backed, produced, and send money to the USA..

So sayeth trolls, the USA Movie Industry and US Politicians.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Oh really?

If you really want to open that can of worms, maybe you should compare the amount of innovation stopped in the US vs the amount stopped in Somalia.

Otherwise, this article is about developed nations vs developing nations. I don’t know that anyone here is arguing for Somalia as a developing nation….

You’re comparing apples to oranges here to make a point you want to make. (And yes I know I just opened the door to the whole “we’re not looking to compare fruit” innovation from the US)

out_of_the_blue says:

This is a LIE: "a clear dig at the US, which began as a pirate nation"

No, the US freed themselves from HUGE hereditary pirates (who went on to use their serfs to conquer most of the world, including India). It’s been taken over by new pirates since, sure, but the founding acts were to cast off a monopoly of The Rich. — So calling the early US a pirate state is SHEER LIE, ratbag.

Anyhoo, this “analysis” totally disregards that India has been able to take knowledge developed prior and bootstrap from fairly high level. — And that’s sheer historical fact, NOTHING implied that they couldn’t have on their own had cultural factors led them to being first to pull down the thieving hereditary Rich.

Now, a 2nd point is that RUSSIA developed too despite blatant literal communism of the worst sort short of CHINA — which is ALSO developing rapidly! ‘Splain THAT, as was said just two decades ago that they’d soon starve!

This is just a snapshot of history, proves NOTHING.

You might yet argue that the patent system has become just another tool of The Rich — but that’d lead you straight to Populism and the notion of limiting The Rich because they’re the ones who get control of monopolies; in other words, you’d agree with what I’ve long since figured out.

Then there’s your notion that “innovation” is such things as needing to tweak your cell phone, when such an appliance should just do one simple thing without trouble, but that’s a whole ‘nother area of philosophy.

Edward Teach says:

Re: This is a LIE: "a clear dig at the US, which began as a pirate nation"

out_of_his_mind writes:

when such an appliance should just do one simple thing without trouble,

Are ye blind, mate!?! Do ye not see that smartphones are more than a lowly appliance!?! Of course ye have, ye’re just exhibiting willful blindness! This is just the kind of used haggis that causes good men to spit on their palms, run up the black flag, and look for throats to slit!

J-P Proudhon was an optimist.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘This is why emerging countries would do well to think twice before signing up to restrictive FTAs and wide-ranging agreements like TPP that are specifically designed to keep them at a lower level of technological development.’

this, whilst allowing the USA to penalise who it wants, fine who it wants, restrict who it wants whilst protecting who it wants, ie, it’s own companies and industries. these are nothing less than bully-boy tactics, being forced on to lesser nations, simply to get the USA economy going again and keep it at the forefront by stopping other nations from catching up and perhaps overtaking them. if that happens, it’s their own fault for creating monopolies for companies that refuse to update their business models and join the rest of the world in the digital age!

Frost (profile) says:

"IP" doesn't spur, it slows down

Patents only serve to make it that much harder to innovate as would-be innovators have to try to contort themselves around using existing knowledge rather than using it and improving up on it or integrating it. Yes, you can pay royalties and stuff, but that’s obviously never going to be step one or two. Sometimes, the people holding the patent just won’t let you use it at all to avoid competition.

Copyright is just as bad in its own way, it just affects other areas rather than innovation in tech fields – there, it retards the rise of new culture, which is arguably as bad or worse. People can’t take existing culture and build on it freely, they have to try to work around what’s already there.

The only reason either of those things exist is because of our flawed approach to society, running it on the extremely toxic concept of “money” and “trade” in the first place. It’s time to leave that behind and create a world of abundance, where neither patents nor copyright exist. All people should have their needs for food, shelter, education, entertainment etc met regardless; once we do that, we can innovate without worrying about who holds some ridiculous “patent” preventing us from moving forward.

staff (user link) says:

more dissembling

‘more patents is not the same thing as more innovation’

If you own the patent, you created the invention or bought it from the person that created it…the innovator. All you know about patents is you don’t have any.

Do you know how to make a Stradivarius violin? Neither does anyone else. Why? There was no protection for creations in his day so he like everyone else protected their creations by keeping them secret. Civilization has lost countless creations and discoveries over the ages for the same reason. Think we should get rid of patents? Think again…or just think!

Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-
https://www.insightcommunity.com/cases.php?n=10&pg=1

They sell blog filler and “insights” to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world?s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are hacks representing themselves as legitimate journalists receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don?t have any.

http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

JEONG CHUN PHUOC says:

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BLUEPRINT 2014-2020

?INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BLUEPRINT 2014-2020: THE MALAYSIAN APPROACH?
by Jeong Chun Phuoc, Adv of Competitive Legal Intelligence(CLI)

OVERVIEW
If EU focus is on piracy and counterfeiting, the ?fair use? factor must be treated objectively.

In the UK, Professor Ian Hargreaves was tasked by the UK government under the leadership of PM David Cameron
to give his review on how IP affects UK IP innovation and IP growth, including patenting activism, as a whole within the Single Market.

The Digital Economy Act has been perceived to be lacking in several departments especially IP innovation, and in the course of industrial interpretation, of course,was perceived as an imperfect Act under this scorecard measurement.

ASEAN REGION
In Asia/ASEAN region, including Singapore and Malaysia, the fair use practice has seen much judicial activism that challenges
traditional thoughts in IP protection and innovation given the technological flux in an Age of K-Economy.

MALAYSIAN PERSPECTIVE
Prof Datuk Khaw Lake Tee(UM), Professor Dr Ida Madieha(IIUM) and
Professor Dr.Lim Heng Gee(UITM) and Jeong Chun Phuoc (MMU,NUS,IIUM) of Malaysia have treated with
delicate care a plethora of critical domestic IP issues, such as patenting activity, performance rights, geographical indications,etc which have not seen proper redress from a policy and strategic analysis under the Competitive Legal Intelligence(CLI) assessment.

However, there are certain IP improvements undertaken by
Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) Chairman, Dato? Abdul Manan Ismail in Malaysia.

IP advancement has also seen a jump to a better field of IP protection and Innovation spectrum
under the leadership of maverick former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi.

CONCLUDING RECOMMENDATION
As at 13 June 2013, attempts are being made to quantum leap a
draft proposal ?Intellectual Property Blueprint 2014-2020″ for the Malaysian government
to take lead in charting a new course in IP Innovation Roadmap.

?????..
JEONG CHUN PHUOC
Pioneer Advocate in Competitive Legal Intelligence/CLI
Senior Lecturer-in-Law and
Consultant External Law, AZMI & ASSOCIATES(advocates and Solicitors)
Menara keck Seng, Jln Bukit Bintang,KL, Malaysia.

He can be reached at his new email : Jeongchunphuoc@gmail.com

JEONG CHUN PHUOC says:

?INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BLUEPRINT 2014-2020?

?INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BLUEPRINT 2014-2020?
by Jeong Chun Phuoc, Adv of Competitive Legal Intelligence(CLI)

OVERVIEW
If EU focus is on piracy and counterfeiting, the ?fair use? factor must be treated objectively. The issue of patents and patenting policy and strategy remains controversial. In the UK, Professor Ian Hargreaves was tasked by the UK government under the leadership of PM David Cameron to give his review on how IP–including patenting activism– affects UK IP innovation and IP growth as a whole within the Single Market.
The Digital Economy Act has been perceived to be lacking in several departments especially IP innovation, and in the course of industrial interpretation, of course, was perceived to be an imperfect Act under this scorecard measurement. The same applies to patenting and innovation activism.

ASEAN REGION
In Asia/ASEAN region, including Singapore and Malaysia, the fair use practice
has seen much judicial activism that challenges traditional thoughts in IP protection and innovation given the technological flux in an Age of K-Economy.

MALAYSIAN PERSPECTIVE
Prof Datuk Khaw Lake Tee(UM), Professor Dr Ida Madieha(IIUM) and Professor Dr.Lim Heng Gee(UITM) and Jeong Chun Phuoc (MMU,NUS,IIUM) of Malaysia have treated with delicate care a plethora of critical domestic IP issues, which have not seen proper redress from a policy and strategic analysis under the Competitive Legal Intelligence(CLI) assessment. These issues have been summarised, for subsequent focus group consultation, by WIPO as follows: Copyright and Related Rights, Dispute Resolution, Domain Names, Electronic Commerce, Franchising, Geographical Indications and Appellations of Origin, Information and Communication Technologies, Industrial Designs, Industrial Property, Intellectual Property, IP and Financing, Licensing, Marketing, Marks, Patents, Research and Development, Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions, Trade, Trade Secrets, Valuation, and New Varieties of Plants,etc.

However, there are certain IP improvements undertaken by Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) Chairman, Dato? Abdul Manan Ismail in Malaysia. IP advancement has also seen a jump to a better field of IP protection and Innovation spectrum under the leadership of maverick former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi.

CONCLUDING RECOMMENDATION
As at 13 June 2013, attempts are being made to quantum leap a draft proposal ?Intellectual Property Blueprint 2014-2020″ for the Malaysian government to take lead in charting a new course in IP Innovation Roadmap.

?????…………………..
JEONG CHUN PHUOC
Pioneer Advocate in Competitive Legal Intelligence/CLI; Senior Lecturer-in-Law and Consultant External Law, AZMI & ASSOCIATES(advocates and Solicitors) Menara keck Seng, Jln Bukit Bintang,KL, Malaysia.
He can be reached at his new email : Jeongchunphuoc@gmail.com

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