May 10, 2021

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Protection of intellectual property, the United States puts India on its priority watch list



On Friday, the United States placed India and eight other countries on its priority watch list for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property.
Photo Credit: Supplied

Washington: On Friday, the United States placed India and eight other countries on its priority watch list for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property.

Other countries that are on the list are Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

In his “301 Special Report” on the adequacy and effectiveness of protecting US trading partners and enforcing intellectual property rights, US Trade Representative Catherine Tye said that these countries will be the subject of intense bilateral participation over the next year.

Over the past year, India has been inconsistent in its progress in IP protection and enforcement. While India’s application of IP in the Internet domain has gradually improved, there is still a lack of tangible benefits for innovators and creators, which continues to undermine their efforts. India remains one of the most challenging major economies in the world in terms of protection and enforcement of intellectual property. “

The watch list has been revised

The USTR office reviewed more than 100 business partners in this year’s “301 Special Report”, eight in its “Priority Watchlist” and 23 in its “Watchlist”.

The 23 trading partners listed on the watchlist are Algeria, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey. Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

“Intellectual property rights motivate our creators, manufacturers and innovators to create new products and technologies,” said Kathryn Tay.

Laws, policies, and practices that protect these rights must appropriately balance the interests of the creators with the interests of those seeking to use their creativity. Failure to adequately and effectively protect these rights in foreign markets, she said, harms the US economy, the dynamism of US innovators, and the livelihoods of our workers.

The USTR noted that the 2021 Special 301 Review Period has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest global health crisis in more than a century, and said its top priority is to save lives and end the pandemic in the United States and around the world. Globalism.

As emphasized in the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, while the United States recognizes the role of intellectual property protection in developing new medicines, it respects the right of the commercial partner to protect public health, particularly enhancing access to medicines for all.

Watch closely

The United States is closely monitoring the progress China has made in implementing its commitments under the US-China Trade and Economy Agreement.

In 2020, China published several draft IP-related legal and regulatory measures and completed more than ten measures.

China amended its patent, copyright and criminal laws in the past year. However, these steps toward reform require effective implementation and fall short of the full range of fundamental changes needed to improve China’s intellectual property landscape, said the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

In India, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said that patent cases continue to be a particular concern as long-standing issues remain for the innovative industries.

The potential threat of patent revocation, non-assumption of patent validity and narrow eligibility criteria under Indian patent law weighs on companies across various sectors.

Moreover, patent applicants continue to compare costly and time-consuming objections before and after granting, long waiting times for patent approval and excessive reporting requirements. It added that stakeholders continue to express concerns about the vagueness of interpretation of Indian patent law.

She said that the United States intended to continue engaging with India on intellectual property issues, including through the Intellectual Property Working Group of the US-India Trade Policy Forum.