At a time when Washington is considering trade sanctions against New Delhi for 'ineffective' Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime, two of America's major defence and civil aviation firms, Honeywell and Boeing, have come out strongly in support of India's IPR regulations.
Giving a much-needed shot in the arm to India's counter to the US allegations of an inadequate IPR regime, Honeywell, in a submission filed before the US Trade Representative, said: "Our experience is that an acceptable IPR legal framework exists in India with laws and regulations that are comparable to IPR regulations in other developed countries.”
Boeing said, “Indian IPR laws applicable to the range of Boeing's business activities in India are comparable to IPR regulations in other developed countries, as India is a signatory to all major conventions and treaties on this subject.”
The two companies made their submissions to the Special 301 hearing held in the office of the USTR in Washington that related specifically to India. Special 301 is an annual review process led by the office of the United States Trade Representative. US trade law requires an annual review of intellectual property protection and market access practices in foreign countries.
Honeywell and Boeing are among the biggest beneficiaries of the Indian defence and civil market.
America had recently threatened to include India in the ‘Priority Foreign Country’ list for IPR. As per the definition of the US Trade Act, a priority foreign country is a classification given to those that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or fair and equitable market access to the US persons relying on IPR protection.
The US has accused India of reviewing up to a dozen patented drugs to see if compulsory licences, which in effect break exclusivity rights, can be issued for some of them. The US is also unhappy with Section 3(d) in India's Patents Act that regulates patenting of incremental pharmaceutical inventions by stipulating that patents can be granted only if the modified product enhances the efficacy profile of the drug substantially compared with the previous version.
Air India, Jet Airways, Spice Jet have been long standing customers of Beoing Commercial Airplanes in India and continue to ink major contracts with the company. On the defence side Boeing has secured major contracts in a very short time. India has purchased eight Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance and anti submarine aircraft