India will submit a ‘status report’ on the progress it has made on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement during the last year to the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
This is in response to USTR’s recent directive to incorporate the views of foreign governments and non-government organisations before finalising its annual “Special 301 Report”, a review of the global IPR scenario and its impact on US-based industries.
USTR makes its own judgement about IPR compliance levels of various countries and classifies nations and locations under various categories such as watch list, priority watch list and notorious.
India, along with 11 other countries, including China, Russia, Canada, Venezula and Argentina, is currently in the “priority watch list”.
India’s submission will be aimed at giving its version of IPR compliance in the country during the last one year.
Welcoming the move, Dominic Keating, first secretary for IP, US Embassy in Delhi, said India’s submission would be a positive explanation about the improvement of IP systems and infrastructure that was being put in place in the country.
“The feedback from various stakeholders gives a different perspective. NGOs have the option to make submissions. The embassy also provides its inputs”, said Keating.
The commerce ministry has finalised its IP report and it will be submitted to USTR soon, it is learnt.
This is the second time India is submitting its views to USTR. Though countries often give their views after the US comes out with “Special 301” reports, it is the first time USTR has decided to invite submissions before it sits down to rate IP regimes across the world.
Commenting on the development, Prabir Purkayastha, chairperson of New Delhi-based NGO Society for Knowledge Commons said the government’s decision to make the submission was influenced by the high stakes India’s software and pharmaceutical industries have in that country.