US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns 01/10/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 3 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In this week’s highly anticipated visit to the United States by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of joint statements have been issued, raising hope for greater cooperation between the two countries, and some concern about the same. A US-India joint statement listed the many areas of discussion between Modi and US President Barack Obama. The statement includes the announcement of an “annual high-level Intellectual Property Working Group with appropriate decision-making and technical-level meetings as part of the Trade Policy Forum.” There were no details readily available on the IP working group, but it sparked concern among public health activists who have feared India will be pressured to more strongly enforce IP rights to the detriment of affordable drugs access. “[T]his working group will give the US a dedicated forum to continue to pressure India to adopt TRIPS-plus IP measures, including repeal of section 3(d) of the India Patents Act, adoption of data exclusivity/monopolies, patent term extensions, and restrictions on the use of compulsory licenses,” Northeastern University law Prof. Brook Baker said on the ip-health listserv. “There will also be efforts to strengthen enforcement measures and investor rights including investor/state dispute resolution.” “The US, in particular, will work to eliminate local working requirements that India is seeking to use to promote its own technological development,” Baker said. “The fact that this working group will have “decision-making” powers is particularly problematic as it places the US fox in the Indian chicken coop.” India is known as the leading producer of affordable generic medicines used in developing countries. TRIPS refers to the 1994 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, which India implemented in 2005. Overall on trade and economic issues, the two governments’ statement reads: “The leaders discussed their concerns about the current impasse in the World Trade Organization and its effect on the multilateral trading system, and directed their officials to consult urgently along with other WTO members on the next steps. The leaders committed to work through the Trade Policy Forum to promote a business environment attractive for companies to invest and manufacture in India and in the United States. Agreeing on the need to foster innovation in a manner that promotes economic growth and job creation, the leaders committed to establish an annual high-level Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group with appropriate decision-making and technical-level meetings as part of the Trade Policy Forum. They recognized in particular the contribution of the Indian and U.S. Information Technology (IT) industry and the IT-enabled service industry in strengthening India-U.S. trade and investment relations. The two leaders committed to hold public-private discussions in early 2015 under the Commercial Dialogue on new areas of cooperation, including innovation in advanced manufacturing. In order to share best practices in manufacturing and work toward greater harmonization of standards, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership program will start a dialogue with Indian counterparts. The two countries plan to work expeditiously through several joint initiatives to facilitate greater confidence in cross-border trade and investment. ” The two sides also issued a statement on health cooperation. Modi spoke at a reception of the US-India Business Council last night, the USIBC said in a release. Image Credits: USIBC Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.