India objects to being put on US IPR watch list

Category: WTO Sub-category: Intellectual Property
Document type: news

10-May-2012 | 2:05 IST | Edited by: Sharmila Maitra

India has protested being placed in the US priority watch list of countries with insufficient intellectual property protection once again.

According to the Indian government, its regime is completely compliant with all WTO regulations, including the Trips Agreement.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has written a letter to US trade representative Ron Kirk describing the US measure as unfortunate and unjustified.

According to the letter, India's intellectual property regime has seen many steps in the recent times to improve efficiency and transparency, and measures have been taken to accede to the Madrid Protocol.

Also, legal developments in the copyright field are at an advanced stage and are awaiting the required parliamentary approvals.

Intellectual property-intensive industries support as many as 4 crore jobs in the U.S., and up to 60% of its exports, making the issue politically charged there.

The letter also said that the priority watch list carries no threat of sanctions, but hopes to embarrass the countries named into cracking down on piracy and counterfeiting and updating their copyright laws.

However, trade between India and the US has soured in the recent times with both the countries taking each other to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to fight out differences in policies.

Russia had been on the list for 16 years and China for eight.

Some countries, the latest being Malaysia and Spain, have been dropped from the list in recognition of steps taken for strengthening the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and for issuing regulations to protect pharmaceutical test data.