Priority Watch List Strikes Again

Intellectual Property RightsNews    April 30, 2019
Intellectual Property Rights Posted On


The Special 301 report prepared yearly by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) includes the Priority watch list countries identified as having several serious Intellectual Property Rights inadequacies that need increased USTR surveillance. India once again becomes a victim of this outrageous list for the 27th year in a row due to its insufficient measurable improvements on the Intellectual Property Rights framework that have long-lasting impacts and challenges leading to negatively affecting the American right holders. Although India has taken several steps to discuss the problems of the protection and enforcement of the IP rights, many of the actions have not yet converted into tangible advantages for the creators, due to which India, according to the latest Special 301 report, still prevails as one of the world’s most challenging economies with respect to management of IP rights.

It is a matter of fact that, yes, India has definitely dismissed the observations in the Special 301 report over the years admitting it as a unilateral report of the US since India was completely amenable with multi lateral IP directives.

Along with India, USTR has identified 11 countries in its Priority Watch List including China, Indonesia, Russia, to name a few. In the report, the US mentioned that India has major long-standing IP issues making it arduous for creators to receive and perpetuate patents in their respective businesses, particularly for pharmaceuticals. Besides these long-standing concerns, India furthermore confined the transparency of information on state-issued pharmaceutical manufacturing licenses.

Moreover, India failed to create a productive system for protection against the inequitable commercial use and the unsanctioned disclosure of data produced to acquire marketing approval for various chemical products used in agriculture. The report even asserts that both China and India were the leading origins of the spurious medicines distributed on a broad scale. “Though the exact figure is not disclosed, studies have suggested that up to 20% of the drugs sold in the Indian markets could pose a serious threat to human life.”

In spite of India’s repeated premises of restraining IP laws to increase access to the growing trend in technologies, the USTR declared that India maintained exceptionally high custom duties towards IP intensive products such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, solar energy equipment, etc.

At the same time, the report also pens down some of the best practices by India in the IP sector last year. India’s Cell for Intellectual Property Rights Promotion and Management (CIPAM) assembles the government’s efforts to unravel processes, encourage commercialization, and increase IP awareness.

As a result of the deterrent given to India and other countries, the USTR wants the governments to support the predictability of IP systems by making sure to use obligatory licenses only when the circumstances are extremely unlikely and after putting in all the efforts required to procure authorization from the patent owner using rational terms and conditions.

According to the report, The US will continue to look at developments as required with the trading partners including India. For more visit: 

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