India has strong legal framework to protect intellectual property rights: Boeing

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: Feb 15 2014, 18:45pm hrs
Even as a section of the US' corporate sector lobbies against India over protection of intellectual property rights, American aircraft major Boeing today said the country has a strong legal framework to protect such rights.

"In Boeing's experience, India has a legal framework that is adequate to protect IP with no known cases of IP violation involving Boeing's activities in the defense and aerospace sector," the American multinational said in its remarks submitted to US Trade Commission (USITC).

The USITC this week conducted a hearing in connection with its investigation "Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the US Economy".

The statement from Boeing, which has major investment and research and development centres in India and has received orders worth billions of dollars in the aviation and defense sector, assumes significance in view of the fact that a section of influential American corporate sector has been lobbying at the Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration against India's intellectual property regime.

"A detailed review of Boeing's enterprise-wide activities in India, including the export of Boeing products, as well as sourcing activities, indicates an adequate IPR legal framework is in place for Boeing's aerospace and defense products in India," the statement said.

"Boeing has had a positive experience with Indian customers, partners, and suppliers on IPR protection. Boeing continues to monitor efforts by India's Ministry of Defense to indigenise defense production in India to reach strategic self-reliance," the company said in its four page submission.

According to the statement Boeing is the single largest producer, by dollar value, of US exports to India.

"Since late 2005, Boeing has secured contracts from Indian buyers worth tens of billions of US dollars, which is creating and will sustain at least an estimated 180 thousand US jobs in a high skill, high value industry over the delivery period of these contracts," the company said.

"India has emerged as one of the largest export markets for Boeing (5th largest for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and 2nd largest for Boeing Defense, in terms of market potential) and is a key market that Boeing will continue to develop in the future," it said.

Coming in strong defense of India's IP regime, Boeing said Indian laws applicable to the range of the company'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.

"Additionally, in our experience, there have not been any major patent violations in India pertaining to Boeing's defense/aerospace products. Boeing sells its products (Defense & Aviation) to the Government of India (Gol) and private airlines where our IPR is contractually protected; we see minimal risk of product IPR violations by the GoI and private airlines," the company said.

Noting that it has worked extensively with Indian suppliers especially in the IT sector and with strategic research and development partners for over a long period of time, the company said major Boeing software and Information Technology (IT) suppliers from India like Infosys, TCS, HCL and WIPRO have very mature IT service delivery models and Intellectual Property Management (IPM) practices and tools.

"They work with all leading Fortune 500 companies across the world and hence have world-class practices to protect IPR and information security for their global customers. They have worked closely with Boeing Information Security and Supplier Management teams to ensure that all Boeing processes on network, access and information security are adhered to strictly," it said.

On the R&D side, Boeing has established major research partnerships with several partners in India, including with academia (premier institutes, like the IITs, IISc), government labs (such as, National Aerospace Laboratories and National Metallurgical Laboratories) and industry.

"Our experience has been that all Indian partners have consistently honoured these contractual agreements, including NDAs, Intellectual Property protection and other related conditions," Boeing said.