India and Japan build an enterprising cyber future


In June 2022, India and Japan held a high-level virtual e-dialogue. The joint secretary of the Cyberdiplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs led the Indian side, which included ministries such as interior, external affairs, defense and electronics and information technology. The Japanese delegation, under the leadership of the ambassador in charge of cyber policy, included similar government departments.

The discussion focused on national policies and legal frameworks for important and evolving areas, such as information and communication technologies. It reviewed and mapped progress in bilateral cyber cooperation and cyber security and reviewed 5G telecommunications technology between nations.

Daksh Kumar
intellectual property practice
Kocchar & Co.

India ranked 46th in the 2021 Global Innovation Index based on technological development in areas such as policy environment, education, infrastructure and business. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), IT industry revenue in India is estimated at $227 billion in the current fiscal year, up from $196 billion the previous year.

As nations recover from the aftermath of the pandemic and grapple with the economic impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the timing for such bilateral cooperation and the promotion of trade and commerce is welcome. India and Japan regard these measures as constructive and productive. Cooperation in cybersecurity and information and communication technology (ICT) will enable India to become an innovation economy.

The cooperation is expected to advance smart island and smart city projects in India using clean and energy efficient technologies. Japan’s global competitiveness in submarine optical cable infrastructure has already led India to partner with Japanese companies to push forward the Digital India agenda. The Japan-India digital partnership is harnessing opportunities in the start-up ecosystem, with NASSCOM and the Japan External Trade Organization deepening their cooperation and connecting start-ups and tech companies with venture capitalists and Japanese strategic partners. An infrastructure for testing new products and services will be created, emphasizing safety and security. Accelerated approvals for experimental products and services will be simplified through the removal of licenses. Affordable spectrum for research and development will be allocated and testbeds, incubators and innovation centers will be promoted in collaboration with industry and academia.

ICT and Intellectual Property (IP) are expected to overlap through cooperation, as the IP system plays an important role in helping companies gain and maintain an advantage based on innovation. Overlap will help bring innovative technology to market with minimal risk. Intellectual property owners will have new opportunities, including attracting investors, strategic business partners and alliances to commercialize their intellectual property. ICT will likely play an important role in the development of blockchain technology for efficient financial transactions, perhaps resolving the uncertainties currently surrounding cryptocurrencies and their regulation.

The alignment of India and Japan’s policies benefits both economies. Law enforcement will be able to better detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrime, especially intellectual property piracy. Start-ups and other innovators will receive assistance in filing copyright, patent, design and trademark applications. The development of standard essential patents for digital communication technologies requires financial and legal incentives. An intellectual property rights (IPR) regime that fosters innovation will implement key recommendations relating to digital communications in the national IPR policy, including a review of the legal regime governing copyright, patents, designs and models and brands. Developments in the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and 5G technology will facilitate and promote digital transformation.

Dialogue between India and Japan advances their mutual interests following a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signed in March 2022. The MoC enhances collaboration in cyberspace, cybersecurity information sharing, development of joint mechanisms to mitigate cyber threats and development of a 5G regime. Improved digital infrastructure will lead to the invention and innovation of joint ventures, which will boost imports and exports in the cybersphere.

Daksh Kumar is a partner in the IP practice at Kochhar & Co.


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