Govt. Paper About IPR Issues Found to Contain Plagiarised Text

A discussion paper released by a government body about protecting intellectual copyrights in industries was found to contain multiple plagiarised sentences.

On March 1, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, released a paper titled ‘Standard Essential Patents and their availability on FRAND terms’. It has the stated objective of “inviting views and suggestions from the public at large to develop a suitable policy framework to define the obligations of Essential Patent holders and their licensees”. Then, on March 18, a National Law University professor named Arul Scaria pointed out in a Facebook post that the paper contains plagiarised sentences on at least three pages, and hinting that there are many more.

“Its (sic) hard to accept plagiarism of this level in a discussion paper published by a governmental organ actively associated with intellectual property protection in India.” Scaria wrote. In two of the instances he pointed out, the source was a paper published in April 2013 by the global law firm Jones Day. Another sentence was lifted verbatim from a 2007 report filed by the US Department of Justice.

FRAND stands for ‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ terms. For example, when a patented bit of technology is slated to become part of an industry standard, the standard-setting organisation typically requests the patent-holder to provide access to the technology on FRAND terms. The March-1 DIPP paper is particularly concerned with issues, including FRAND issues, surrounding such standard-essential patents. It has invited comments from the public until April 22, to be mailed to kapoor.sumit@gov.in.