India rejects US report on intellectual property as unilateral

New Delhi, May 8:

India has rejected the US’ annual report on intellectual property rights (IPR) and patents, describing it as a “unilateral” action “inconsistent” with global trading rules, against the backdrop of its earlier announcement on bringing a national IPR policy by early 2015, parliament was told on Friday.

Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra
Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra

“The Special 301 Report issued by the United States under their Trade Act of 1974 is a unilateral measure to create pressure on countries to enhance IPR protection beyond the TRIPS agreement,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

“Special 301 which is an extra territorial application of the domestic law of a country is inconsistent with the established norms of the WTO,” she added.

The US Trade Representative (USTR), in its annual Special 301 report last week on IPR and patents regime of its partner countries, put India under the category of ‘Priority of Watch List’ (PWL) as it believes the country has inadequate IPR laws.

“Any dispute between two countries needs to be referred to the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO and unilateral actions are not tenable under this regime,” the commerce minister said.

Last year, the then newly-installed NDA government announced the rolling out of a ‘National IPR Policy’ by early 2015. The department of industrial policy and promotion created a think-tank which has formulated a draft policy.

Bilateral trade between India and the US crossed the $100 billion mark in 2013-14, and currently stands at $103 billion. The countries have set a bilateral trade target of $500 billion by the decade-end. (IANS)

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