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India’s IPR regime not regressive: Sitharaman (analysed from The Hindu, relevant for GS paper  III, Topic: IPR)

According to Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy will send a clear message to Washington that India’s IPR regime is not regressive,

Sitharaman, however, said India does not recognise “unilateral measures” such as the U.S. Special 301 Report that tries to create pressure on countries to enhance IPR protection beyond the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IPRs (TRIPS).

U.S. Special 301 Report had retained India on the ‘Priority Watch List’ in 2016 for not addressing long-standing and systemic deficiencies in its (India’s) IPR regime.

Highlights of new IPR Policy:

1.    Greater clarity:

The IPR Policyhas brought greater clarity on India’s stance on IPR issues. Any patent holder anywhere in the world will not fee that India’s IPR policy is regressive.

2.    This policy will build on the interest for innovation and Research & Development.

3.    Compulsory licensing (CL):
Compulsory licensing and norms similar to Section 3(d) are among the flexibilities available in international treaties and TRIPS Agreement to ensure availability of essential and life-saving drugs at affordable prices. India will not dilute its CL policy.

4.    Indigenous knowledge:
IPR Policy will promote India’s indigenous knowledge on water conservation measures.The Policy will also promote ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy.

5.    Copyright violations:
Citing instances of several copyright violations (of movies and music) in states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra known for entertainment business, the govt. will work for better protection and enforcement of copyrights.

The Special 301 Report is prepared annually by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) under Section 301 as amended of the Trade Act of 1974. The reports identify trade barriers to U.S. companies and products due to the intellectual property laws, such as copyright, patents and trademarks, in other countries.



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