US Puts India, China, Pakistan on IPR Watch List

Washington, May 2 (IANS): The United States has put India, China, Pakistan and ten other countries on a priority watch list for allegedly providing insufficient protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights or limited market access.

These thirteen countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year, the US Trade Representative (USTR), Ron Kirk said releasing the annual IPR report here Tuesday.

The other ten on the priority watch list are: Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Israel, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

Suggesting that "India had made limited progress on IPR protection and enforcement in 2011, and its legal framework and enforcement system remain weak", the report said the US will continue to work with New Delhi to address its concerns.

The US, it said, "continues to encourage India to promote a stable and predictable patent system that can nurture domestic innovation, including by resolving concerns with respect to the prohibition on patents for certain chemical forms absent a showing of increased efficacy."

Recognising "India's recent efforts to address its patent application backlog," it urged India "to continue to work to streamline its patent opposition proceedings" and said the US will "closely monitor developments concerning compulsory licensing of patents in India."

The report "notes some improvements with respect to IPR enforcement, including reports of good cooperation of enforcement officials with some in the copyright industry, and increased use of judicial orders that have strengthened enforcement against pirated movies and music online."

It encourages "India to take additional steps to improve coordination with enforcement officials of certain state governments" as also "to address its judicial inefficiencies and to strengthen criminal enforcement efforts."

The report does commend "India's recognition of the importance of innovation as part of its efforts to promote domestic manufacturing, and urges India to resist imposing discriminatory policies or other counterproductive measures in pursuit of that objective, and at the expense of adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights."


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