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Need to curb Counterfeiting & Piracy to ensure the relevance of Intellectual Property: Justice Prathiba M. Singh 

Ms Justice Prathiba M. Singh, Judge, Delhi High Court yesterday said that Intellectual Property in the digital world was not the same as it was seen earlier. “Online counterfeiting and piracy needs to be curbed to ensure that the relevance of intellectual property is maintained in the digital world,” she added.

Addressing FICCI webinar ‘IP Protection & Enforcement in Digital World’, Justice Singh said that the digital space has brought about two fundamental changes in this realm. The positive aspect has been the growth witnessed in the IP sector due to new technology which has significantly enhanced the far-reaching impact of intellectual property. The negative impact, on the other hand, stems from the problems of counterfeiting and piracy, which in the current times is not only rampant but rapidly increasing, she stated.

Justice Singh further added that the new global order aided by the pandemic has fast forwarded the regulation as well as the growth of jurisprudence on the digital platform. “It is important to note that the courts have been conscious of the changes and challenges that the digital platforms have brought about,” she noted.

Mr Narendra Sabharwal, Chair, FICCI IPR Committee and Former Deputy Director General of WIPO, emphasized on the importance of IP rights during COVID-19 which has impacted the healthcare systems and caused significant economic downturns across the world.

Expressing concern on the alarming rise in the cases of IP infringements, both in the online and offline spaces, Mr Sabharwal said that another major problem was the growing incidents of cybercrimes and online frauds giving rise to spyware and ransom-ware attacks on unsuspecting consumers. He complemented the judiciary’s stringent approach to protect the interest of IP owners by actively passing orders in legal disputes and restraining unscrupulous parties, from violating their rights.

Mr Jyoti Sagar, Managing Partner, K & S Partners, while underling the growing importance of e-commerce and media and entertainment sector in the context of the Indian economy, said that the consumer behavior and the markets were changing dramatically in the newfound world. The fourth industrial revolution driven by the new technologies with disruptive features were further aiding the process of change. “The need of the hour is not only to adapt our IP ecosystem to the evolving scenario but also to tap the new opportunities,” he added.

The theme of the webinar was in line with the challenges that the society is facing due to the global pandemic. It was addressed by senior policy makers, IP experts from industry and the legal fraternity who deliberated on topics like combating digital piracy and online brand infringement, innovation in brand protection and jurisdictional issues in IP infringement in the digital space.