US Special 301 process on IPR a unilateral step: India

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 31 2014, 06:39am hrs
New Delhi on Wednesday alleged that Washington was taking a unilateral measure through the Special 301 process to create pressure on countries to accept Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection beyond WTO obligations.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the US had in its April 30 Special 301 report (an annual review of the global state of IPR protection and enforcement), had classified India as a priority watch list country.

The Special 301 process is a unilateral measure taken by the

US under their Trade Act, 1974 to create pressure on countries to increase IPR protection beyond the Agreement on Trade Related IPRs, Sitharaman said.

It is an extra territorial application of the domestic law of a country and is not tenable under the overall WTO regime, Sitharaman added.

The minister added that India has a well established legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement while utilising the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns.

She said the concerns identified in Special 301 report are based on the inputs provided by the US industry on their perception of the level of protection provided by India to IPRs.

Issues that have been flagged in the report include concerns over the provision of section 3(d) of the Patent Act (which relates to non-patentability of inventions involving chemical forms that do not show increased efficacy), compulsory license (CL), inclusion of a statement relating to CL for green technologies in Indias National Manufacturing Policy and challenges relating to enforcement of IP Rights.

Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act 1970 does not allow patent to be granted to inventions involving new forms of a known substance unless it differs significantly in properties with regard to efficacy.