IPRs: US maintains India in the list of priority countries

In an indication of continued confrontation with India on IPR issues, the USTR has maintained India in its ‘priority foreign countries’ list. The United States Trade Representative(USTR) is the United States government agency responsible for developing and recommending United States trade policy to the President.

Priority countries according to the USTR are the one where US companies and products face trade barriers in the form of IPR violations related to patents, copyrights and trade marks. 

The list is updated annually and US government advocates sanctions against the countries included in the list.

Over the last couple of year’s India is strongly referred in the list due to different version of the US regarding the Indian patent laws.

Rejection of patent to Novartis by the Indian Patent Office and conferring compulsory license againstBayer are all made a strongly noticed country under the list in the last couple of years.

In its report for 2015, the USTR has mentioned China and India at first and second respectively in terms of its importance among the total of thirteen countries that also include Pakistan and Russia.  

The report though appears to be less hard compared to the last year in its reference on India. At the same time, the report strategically places the responsibility to implement IPR laws by accommodating US priorities on the shoulders of Prime Minister’s initiatives. It mentions about the out of cycle review or the mechanism that India and the US have built during Modi visit to the US.

On this, the USTR observes “the full expectation that the new channels for engagement created in the past year will bring about substantive and measurable improvements in India’s IPR regime for the benefit of a broad range of innovative and creative industries.”

The new recommendation by the USTR will impact the Indo-US economic relations in the coming years. Similarly, strong pressure tactis by the US in the form of constant inspection and denial of drugs from India by the USFDA may dominate the relationship between the two friendly countries in the economic filed.

US is the largest market for Indian generic drugs. Similarly, India is having the largest number ofthe USFDA ratified production centres.

On China, the first referred country in the report, the USTR accuses that China has made trade secret misappropriation and technology localization.


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