US trade body unhappy with India on Intellectual Property Rights issue
Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Friday released its annual Special 301 Report placing India under Priority Watch List for alleged violations of intellectual property rights. The report places 35 other nations – including Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela - on the Priority Watch List radar. Pakistan, Turkey and the UAE are on the Watch list apart from the other 22 identified nations.
Every year, the USTR identifies trade barriers to US companies and products with regards to the intellectual property laws – copyrights, patents and trademarks – in other nations by April 30, said a report.
The USTR will engage in bilateral discussions with the identified 36 nations to address the issue and take appropriate actions to fight against unfair trade practices.
A report says that USTR had warned India, with which it has a long stand issue, to maintain the integrity and predictability of IP systems. With regards to India, the USTR is facing IP challenges facing US businesses in India that makes it difficult for innovators to maintain patents in that particular nation.
Expressing its disappointment, the report said that India was not making the required changes in its IP laws despite announcing its national IPR policy last year. It said that the US will keep monitoring developments and engage with trading partners including India.
Meanwhile, the Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a World IP Day function said that India’s IPR legislation was totally TRIPS compliant and it did not have to give explanations to any other country.