Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the premier autonomous
organization of the Government of India for the planning, promoting, co-ordinating
and conducting biomedical research in India. The objectives of the ICMR
are in consonance with the national health policy and aim towards
improving the health of the people of India through biomedical research.
The ICMR (established in 1911) is one of the oldest medical research
organizations in the world with a broad mandate to acquire new knowledge
through the conduct and support of biomedical research in all areas of
biomedical research that would have a bearing on improving the health of
Indian people. The Council carries out its mandate through its network of
27 permanent Institutes/ Centers and extramural research support system to
investigators in various institutes and medical colleges in India and
active international collaboration. Over the past nine decades, scientists
working within and with support from the Council have been carrying out
high quality research to achieve the objectives. Any new information/data
generated in the laboratory are immediately published for its widest
dissemination and application for public good.
Of late, scientists of the Council are becoming increasingly conscious
of the need and importance of protecting such new knowledge generated
through appropriate IPR systems before publication. Such an awareness has
largely been triggered by changes like liberalization and globalization of
economy and the encouraging participation of industry in the increasingly
technology-driven medical research, and health care. In addition, the
realization that in the present context, public-private partnership could
well be an important means of achieving the goal of providing affordable
health care to the needy has reinforced the thinking that such joint
ventures could help health care products reach the needy public more
efficiently and quickly. For such partnerships to be viable and
successful, it is essential that the Council has appropriate IPR,
technology transfer and licensing policies in place.
ICMR thus recognizes and supports new intellectual property development
and technology transfer as integral components of its mission and asserts
that the guiding principle governing the conduct of these activities shall
be the prompt and efficient availability of the products developed for the
service of its mission.
To meet its objectives of improving public health through research, the
ICMR will pursue an active policy of ensuring the most rapid and efficient
development of new medical technologies developed by its scientists
through seeking IP rights in India and abroad. The Council, as an agency
of the Indian government, will ensure that its basic mission will not be
compromised by its efforts to commercialize new technologies. Further,
where research and development is not necessary to realize the
technology's primary use and future therapeutic, diagnostic or preventive
uses, IP protection may not be sought and instead those technologies can
be commercialized through non-patent licensing.
The Intellectual Property Rights Unit in the ICMR Headquarters Office
will help scientists in their efforts to identify, protect and
commercially exploit all new knowledge generated with ICMR support. The
IPR Unit would provide technical, legal and other support needed for IP
protection, technology transfer, licensing and commercialization issues.
To make scientists aware of the need and responsibility to protect
new knowledge generated through IP rights, ownership of biological and
other materials and data generated using ICMR funds and facilities.
To develop procedures at ICMR institutions to capture, assess and
protect new intellectual property generated.
To provide ICMR scientists information on demand relating to
patents in their areas of interest by maintaining appropriate national and
To provide appropriate technological, professional and legal
expertise and services to assist ICMR scientists to file patents in India
To encourage and provide all support to universities and other
institutions for protecting and commercializing new knowledge generated
with ICMR support.
To develop a licensing policy that ensures the maximal public health benefit and a fair return on investment from ICMR
To develop and implement a royalty policy at ICMR institutions
that encourages innovative scientists and technology generators through a system of royalty sharing, and
To serve in an advisory capacity
to the Indian government on IP related issues concerning public health.
To forge appropriate strategic alliances with national and international
S&T agencies and industry to market its new inventions and
develop professional knowledge networks for ICMR's technology management
Some steps to achieve the objectives are as follows:
Appropriate internal and external systems would be set up at various ICMR Institutes/Centres for the identification of new
IP before publication.
Innovation-driven research would be encouraged through a IPR-friendly climate. Scientists would be made aware of need for prompt IP
protection before public disclosure, through personal contacts, regular
training workshops, seminars, etc.
To help promote a sound IPR system, some basic and essential
practices like record keeping, appropriate recording of data, maintenance
of laboratory handbooks etc. will be encouraged at various ICMR
The IPR Unit would be engaged in regular monitoring of the Indian
and global patent scenario to keep track innovations of the world.
The advice of experts would be
sought for furthering the objectives.