Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill 2008 – A Critical Analysis of the Indian Bayh-Dole Act
Karthy Nair & Balu Nair*
Volume 2 Issue 4 (2009)
On the face of it, The Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008 appears to be a progressive piece of legislation. Modelled on the American Bayh-Dole Act of the 1980s, the Act makes it mandatory for institutions to create well-defined intellectual property rights over any innovation arising out of publicly funded research and also to exploit these innovations commercially. Universities, research centres, laboratories etc. would thus be able to reap the financial benefits of their innovative work which, it is hoped, would spur on further innovation. There is, however, much to suggest that the Bill in its present form may not be the panacea that it has been touted to be and there is a need to take a closer look at the apparent success of the Bayh- Dole Act in America and in that context to undertake a rigorous examination of the relative merits and demerits of the Act not only to explore the possibility of improving upon the model but also to better adapt it to the different scenario that India presents. Once the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests gives its report on the Indian Bill, it will be the prerogative of the Parliament to discuss and debate on the Bill. This article thus seeks to highlight certain issues that the legislature should take into account when considering this Bill.