USTR Froman Presses India On IPR Regime 24/11/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 2 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)“Nearly one-third of all Silicon Valley start-ups have an Indian-American co-founder,” United States Trade Representative Michael Froman said in remarks on India today. The country of India is also innovating, but it must do more to have and enforce a world-class intellectual property rights regime, he said. Froman spoke at the opening of the US-India Trade Policy Forum, which he is co-chairing with his counterpart Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The forum is meeting for the first time in four years as part of a wave of diplomatic and trade engagements by the US and India. Froman said President Obama will return to India for a visit in two months, the first time a sitting US president has ever visited India twice. And Indian Prime Minister Modi just visited the US two months ago. Froman spoke about progress being made in the World Trade Organization negotiations on trade facilitation, and other issues. And he extensively highlighted intellectual property issues, telling India to do more and saying the US is watching closely: “Another area that’s central to our shared future is innovation. Back in 2010, my former colleague, Larry Summers, came to India and observed that one of the most important global developments was the emergence of the knowledge economy. He noted that, as the India-U.S. trade and investment relationship evolved, the exchange of ideas would be at least as important as the exchange of goods. And this trend is well underway. “India has made great advances in medicine, has patented technologies, and boasts a tremendously successful entertainment industry. Indians are focused on securing education and training for their children, laying the groundwork for the next generation of innovation. Indeed, innovation and entrepreneurship course through the veins of Indians and Indian-Americans: Nearly one-third of all Silicon Valley start-ups have an Indian-American co-founder. “It is, therefore, in India’s interests to have and to enforce a world-class intellectual property rights regime. Patents, copyright, trade secrets. Piracy, counterfeiting, compulsory licensing. These are challenging issues, but dealing with them directly is critical if India is to play a leadership role in the knowledge economy, including on its way to becoming ‘Digital India.’ And in that regard, we have great interest in the ongoing review of India’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy. “In September, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama agreed to establish a High Level Working Group on intellectual property rights, providing us with a platform to address issues of interest to both countries. Copyright enforcement is a top priority of the entertainment industries in Hollywood and in Bollywood. Incentivizing life-saving innovations and promoting affordable access to quality healthcare and safe medicine will benefit all Indians and Americans. Indeed, India is home to some of the most innovative ideas for delivering cost-effective healthcare. And through the Trade Policy Forum, we look forward to building on our common interests and strengthening the innovation ecosystem as part of our overall trade and investment relationship. “There is much that we can do together to help address India’s most pressing demands: improving agricultural productivity, expanding manufacturing, strengthening the services sector, promoting innovation and creativity, improving health and education, enhancing security and addressing India’s growing energy needs. “Ultimately, the most important factor determining the future evolution of our bilateral economic relationship is the quality of the business environment based on transparency, consistency, predictability. Creating regulatory and legal certainty. Maintaining policy stability and forging an innovation environment. Achieving tax simplification and predictability. Raising investment caps and lowering tariffs. Consulting with stakeholders through notice and comment. Streamlining layers of approval and eliminating bureaucratic obstacles — what Prime Minister Modi has called ‘red tape-ism.’” IPO Lobbying Trip Meanwhile, the US industry Intellectual Property Owners Association reported that last week, a delegation of 14 IPO corporate and law firm members attended a series of meetings in India, including with the IP Office in Chennai. There, they discussed patent pendency, work sharing initiatives, and implementation of the Indian Biodiversity Act, among other issues. The group also met with the Chennai Central Board of Excise and Customs, where they received “an overview of IPR enforcement efforts by Indian customs, highlighting the difficulties in determining patent, geographical indication, and design rights infringement due to the necessity for judicial pronouncements.” In addition, the group discussed innovation and patent protection with representatives from Mahindra Research Valley, which is a facility of more than 2,300 engineers working on automotive and farm machinery research and development, it said. But according to a report, the IPO group had to abandon plans to meet with Indian judges. [Update:] US business groups sent a letter to Ambassador Froman today. “While encouraged by the recent breakthrough in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of a high-level IP Working Group, the letter notes that US industries have yet to see any real action taken on a wide array of longstanding trade barriers, said a representative. Image Credits: Embassy of India 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."USTR Froman Presses India On IPR Regime" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.