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India undermining IPR: US Chamber of Commerce

Washington, Jan 29 (IANS) The US Chamber of Commerce Wednesday accused India of allowing the deterioration of intellectual property (IP) climate in the country and asked the Obama administration to enforce IP rights.

Unveiling the 2014 global IP index by its Global Intellectual Property Center, which showed India at the bottom of the ladder, the USCC said “India is heading towards the wrong path to undermine all IP rights” stifling investment, international trade, and its “own innovative potential”.

“The continued use of compulsory licenses, patent revocations, and weak legislative and enforcement mechanisms raise serious concerns about India’s commitment to promote innovation and protect creators,” it said.

The report said that in the bio-pharmaceutical space, Indian policy continued to breach international standards of the protection of innovation and patent rights, revoking patents generally accepted around the world and announcing that other patented medicines are being considered for compulsory licences.

The IP index is a survey of 25 countries with diverse economies reflected in varying market size, level of development, and geography. It provides an empirically-based measurement and comparison of the IP environments of each country.

This year’s report, ‘Charting the Course’, evaluated 30 factors indicative of an IP environment that fosters growth including protection and enforcement of patents, trademark, copyrights, trade secrets and participation in relevant international treaties.

India continued to score lowest, most notably in categories relating to patents, copyrights, and international treaties.

India has a low seven point out of a maximum 30, with the US topping the index with 28.5 per cent.

India had also figured at the bottom in the 2012 GIPC Index.

“A robust IP system provides the critical foundation needed for nations wishing to advance their economic and social progress, and provide assurances to consumers that the products they use are authentic, safe, and effective,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the GIPC.

He said the US has fallen behind in its enforcement efforts.

“Therefore, we urge the Obama administration and Congress to expand on current enforcement programmes and allocate dedicated resources throughout the government to effectively enforce IP rights and protect consumers,” said Hirschmann.

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