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Report No. 167

2.5. Recommendation No. V: Amendment of section 134 of the Principal Act.-

Section 134 occurs in Chapter XXII of the Act which deals with 'International Arrangements'. Section 134 is drafted in simple and plain language. It reads:

"134. Notification as to countries not providing for reciprocity.-Where any country specified by the Central Government in this behalf by notification in the Official Gazette does not accord to citizens of India the same rights in respect of the grant of patents and the protection of patent rights as it accords to its own nationals, no national of such country shall be entitled, either solely or jointly with any other person,-

(a) to apply for the grant of a patent or be registered as the proprietor of a patent;

(b) to be registered as the assignee or the proprietor of a patent; or

(c) to apply for a licence of hold any licence under a patent granted under this Act."

2.5.1. The Object and Reason behind this provision, as stated in the Bill, was the concept of reciprocity. According to the said Statement, if a country denies rights to Indian citizens which it accords to its own nationals, India too would deny to the citizens of that country the right to apply for patents etc. in India.

Section 134 expressly provides for such negative reciprocity and is perfectly consistent with our national dignity and honour. But recently, there have been several instances where certain advanced/developed countries have denied us the access to technology on the specious ground of "dual use" potential. The number of such denials have substantially increased since May 1998. Our protests of discriminatory denials have had no effect. Such denials are seriously affecting our security and technological development. It is significant to note that such denials are also not warranted under the WTO Accords. It is necessary, therefore, to arm India to counter such discriminatory denials and restrictions.

Hence, it is recommended that in section 134, after the words "as it accords to its own nationals" and before the words "no national of such country", the words "or prevents or withholds access to any patented invention, whether product or process in any field of technology, by means of unilateral export prohibition, whether on the grounds of security or otherwise" be inserted. This suggested addition is perfectly consistent with - indeed it furthers the object underlying section 134 and is essential not only to register our protest against such unilateral discriminatory restrictions but also to give effect to the principle of reciprocity in full. Accordingly a new section, section 8 be introduced in the Amendment Bill inserting the aforesaid words in section 134.

We recommend accordingly.

Mr. Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy (Retd.), Chairman.

Ms. Justice Leila Seth (Retd.), Member.

Dr. N.M. Ghatate, Member.

Dr. Subhash C. Jain, Member-secretary.

Dated: 25th February, 1999

The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 1998 Back

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