India needs to relook its intellectual property rights (IPR) policy with a view to bring in a differentiated regime for sectors that have a greater manufacturing potential, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said today.
However, he added that he is not recommending a review of India's IPR policy.
"I would personally feel that we need to take a look at and I am not recommending a review of our IPR policy. I am recommending that we need to look at (that), can we identify sectors facilitate manufacturing at the upper end by bringing in a differentiated concept in IPR.
"But the country which perhaps thinks about graduating its production to a larger part of the value chain needs to look at how it wants to utilise IPR for the benefit of exclusivity of production in certain identified segments of industry," Kher said.
He was speaking at CII's conference on expanding India's share in the world trade and the role of manufacturing sector in it.
The Secretary added that his suggestion is "a highly controversial subject and if I discussed this in the government, I think I will be shot down in the very first instance".
The statement assumes significance as the US government and other developed countries want India to revise its IPR policy. American pharma and solar companies have alleged that India's IPR regime discriminates them.
Recently during US President Barack Obama's visit also, the US corporates had raised concerns over the country's IPR policy. India and the US have agreed to enhance their engagement on the matter.
But New Delhi has consistently maintained that its policies are in compliance with international laws and obligations.
The USA's Special 301 report, an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement, has classified India as a 'priority watch list country'.