In­dia Sticks to its Guns on IP Rights De­spite US Con­cerns

Asks dis­con­tented par­ties to take their woes to mul­ti­lat­eral trade chan­nels

The Economic Times - - Econ­omy: Macro, Mi­cro & More - Divya.Ra­jagopal @times­

NO VI­O­LA­TION Those who are mak­ing these (al­le­ga­tions), are not chal­leng­ing that there is any vi­o­la­tion of the TRIPS SUD­HAN­SHU­PANDEY Joint Sec­re­tary, Com­merce Min­istry

Mum­bai: A week after the US Cham­ber of Com­merce re­leased its Global In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Re­port that named In­dia among worst coun­tries in terms of IP rights, the com­merce min­istry has stood its ground by ask­ing those dis­con­tented with the coun­try’s IP regime to take up the is­sue at mul­ti­lat­eral trade chan­nels.

“We are main­tain­ing the po­si­tion that In­dia is TRIPS (The Agree­ment on Trade-Re­lated As­pects of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Rights) com­pli­ant and if any coun­try thinks we are in vi­o­la­tion they can raise this at the mul­ti­lat­eral fo­rum,” said Sud­han­shu Pandey, joint sec­re­tary in the com­merce min­istry.

Talk­ing to ET on the side­lines of a sum­mit or­gan­ised by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try (CII) on World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO) trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion agree­ment, Pandey said: “Those who are mak­ing these (al­le­ga­tions), are not chal­leng­ing that there is any vi­o­la­tion of the TRIPS. Some coun­tries are try­ing to push the regime to TRIPS but that is what we are not sig­na­tory to. Our com­mit­ment is to TRIPS and that is the po­si­tion we have main­tained.”

The an­nual re­port of Global In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Cen­tre, an or­gan­i­sa­tion un­der the US Cham­ber of Com­merce, has ranked In­dia 43 among 45 coun­tries as part of its global IP re­port card. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, United States ranks num­ber one in en­forc­ing IP rights, fol­lowed by United King­dom and Ger­many, while the bot­tom three coun­tries are Venezuela, Pak­istan and In­dia.

The con­cerns over In­dia’s IP regime raised in the re­port in­clude Na­tional In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Rights Pol­icy not ad­dress­ing fun­da­men­tal weak­nesses in In­dia’s IP frame­work, lengthy pre-grant op­po­si­tion pro­ceed­ings in place, pre­vi­ous use of com­pul­sory li­cens­ing for com­mer­cial and non-emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, and lim­ited par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­ter­na­tional IP treaties.

On the is­sue of Com­pul­sory Li­cens­ing (CL), Pandey said the coun­try has be­haved re­spon­si­bly. Coun­ter­ing the charges of ac­tivist groups that have ac­cused the In­dian gov­ern­ment of be­ing timid to US pres­sure and re­ject­ing the new ap­pli­ca­tions, Pandey sa- id In­dia is a re­spon­si­ble coun­try and takes re­spon­si­ble po­si­tions.

As calls of pro­tec­tion­ism grow across the western world, the com­merce min­istry is tak­ing a wait-and-watch ap­proach with In­dia’s trade part­ners such as the UK and the USA.


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