US softens on Pharma, targets Make in India in its IPR trade policy report

US Trade Representatives’ annual Special 301 report has kept India on the priority watch list. But a visible shift in the US stance is that it goes less vocal on pharma patent issues and criticizes the Make in India programme. The Report is a US perspective on other countries’ IPR policies given their potential impact on US interests.

Altogether eleven countries are included under the priority watch list including India, China and Russia. Pakistan is upgraded from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List.

The report this time seems to be more a political interpretation of IPR issues, as it intervenes with domestic policies of other countries and interpret them as hindrances to US IPRs.  Regarding China and India- two countries that gets frequent mentioning; the report accuses that ‘there is inad­equacies in trade secret protection in China and India’.

India and China – the two important markets for US products as well as competitors;find a permanent place in the priority watch list.  

As far as India is concerned, a new confrontation zone has opened by the report as it attacks the Make in India programme and regards it as a challenge to US inventions.

The report blame that other countries are troubling “indigenous innovation” policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. right holders in overseas markets.

 “For example, India’s National Manufacturing Policy promotes the compulsory licensing of patent­ed technologies as a means of effectuating technology transfer with respect to green technolo­gies”.”

According to the USTR, India’s policies will discourage, rather than promote, investment in and dissemination of green technology inno­vation, including those technologies that contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation.