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Why India shouldn't bow down to US pressure on legitimate IPR flexibilities

India has been clubbed along with countries such as Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela in the USTR Priority Watch List.

April 28, 2019 / 12:26 PM IST

The US government in the past week retained India on the “priority watch list" for its alleged poor enforcement of intellectual property (IP) regulations.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) alleged India's inclusion for lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework on long-standing and new challenges that have negatively affected US right holders over the past year.

"Long-standing IP challenges facing US businesses in India include those which make it difficult for innovators to receive and maintain patents in India, particularly for pharmaceuticals, insufficient enforcement actions, copyright policies that do not properly incentivize the creation and commercialization of content, and an outdated and insufficient trade secrets legal framework," USTR said in its report.

"In addition to these long-standing concerns, India also further restricted the transparency of information provided on state-issued pharmaceutical manufacturing licenses, expanded the application of patentability exceptions to reject pharmaceutical patents, and missed an opportunity to establish an effective system for protecting against the unfair commercial use, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, of undisclosed test or other data generated to obtain marketing approval for certain agricultural chemical products," the report added.