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India US ink IPR Pact

The union cabinet has given its green signal to a plan to sign an initial pact on intellectual property rights with the United States. This comes ahead of US President Donald Trump’s India visit. The US had been asking India for quite some time to bolster protection for intellectual property.

“It is about active cooperation between India and the US to enrich the IPR systems between the two sides. We’ve done such MoUs with a few other countries also but looking at the importance of overall relationships between these two countries, this is important,” a senior government official observed. The treaty is being viewed as a learning exercise with training sessions and experts visiting each other’s respective countries. It spans across the entire IPR regime to include patents and copyrights.

The accord comes in the wake of India tumbling to the 40th position on the US Chamber’s International IP Index. It also continues to figure in the US’ Priority Watch List that identifies trade barriers to US companies due to IP laws of other countries. Further, through its Special 301report, US has tried to push India to drop Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patents Act that denies patents on items that are not significantly different from their older versions. US is also opposed to compulsory licences issued for manufactured copies of patented drugs to address situations of national emergency, as permitted by the global trade rules.