Secret Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Takes Centre Stage In Asia


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), part of US President Barack Obama’s promised pivot to Asia, has stirred up a hornet’s nest on the ethics of trying to hammer out a trade deal in secrecy. But it is not the only one. A proposed trade agreement in Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), is facing the same hiccups and flak.

Special Report: Will India Bend To US Pressure On IP Rights?

India-US CEO Forum Jan 2015 photo

It is no secret that the United States has been scaling up pressure on India to adopt intellectual property measures similar to those common in the United States and the European Union. But to what extent does India’s new government led by the business-friendly Narendra Modi see eye to eye with US official position? Can India, the “pharmacy of the world”, resolve the friction between pharmaceutical patents and access to affordable medicines without putting off foreign investors? The vitriolic and polarising debate surrounding these questions has got a fresh lease of life following US President Barack Obama’s landmark three-day visit to India this week.

While Indian and American business moguls are bullish about the future, Indian generic drug-makers as well as health activists within and outside India are deeply anxious about the shape of things to come

Will India, US Bridge Divide Over Intellectual Property Rights?

Modi Obama

There is an uptick in India-United States relations. US President Barack Obama will be in India in January as the chief guest at the country’s Republic Day Parade. Obama, who hosted India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington in September, will become the first US president to attend such a celebration, a display of India’s military might and ethnic diversity, as well as the first to visit India twice while in office.

India’s IP Policy On Stage As Modi Heads To US


Will India’s new government bring in radical changes in the country’s intellectual property rights regime? That question has generated enormous buzz but no definitive answer ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power with a decisive mandate in May this year.

[Update: the Indian government has announced that it has begun a process for a comprehensive IPR policy over the next six months, including a government think tank. See report here. The government website is here.]

Novartis Loses Patent Bid: Lessons From India’s 3(d) Experience

New Delhi – On 1 April, in a packed room in India’s Supreme Court, two judges – Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Desai – delivered a verdict that has the potential to dramatically change the national and global conversation about patents and patients.

Leaked IP Chapter Of India-EU FTA Shows TRIPS-Plus Pitfalls For India, Expert Says

Indian negotiators are reportedly under tremendous pressure to give in to the European demands for a more rigid intellectual property rights regime in the ongoing discussions on EU-India free trade agreement, suggests a leaked draft text of the chapter on IP which is being negotiated.

India’s First Compulsory Licence Upheld, But Legal Fights Likely To Continue

New Delhi – India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) today upheld the country’s first compulsory licence on a pharmaceutical product. The much-awaited verdict by Justice (Ms) Prabha Sridevan upholds the compulsory licence issued to Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma Ltd, an Indian generic drug manufacturer, which sells a much cheaper version of German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG’s kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar in the market.

2013: India Battles For Right To Use Compulsory Licences To Make Medicines Affordable

India has started the New Year on a volatile note. With general elections looming in 2014, there is turbulence and not just in the political world. In India’s pharmaceutical industry, there is sparring over the prickly issue of ‘compulsory licenses’, a mechanism by which a government allows a domestic company to manufacture and sell a generic version of a patented drug without the consent of the patent-holder, who receives compensation.

UN High-Level Meeting In India On Biodiversity Addresses Access And Benefit-Sharing

At the ongoing 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, the hot topic is funds and how to mobilize it. The mega-conference is taking place in the shadow of a global economic slowdown, and delegates gathered at this southern Indian city are most concerned about how to drum up funds to tackle the world’s shrinking biodiversity – the variety of animal and plant life on earth.

India: Balancing Public And Private Interests In The Intellectual Property Regime

NEW DELHI – In this month, there have been two court orders in India that underscore the complexities underlying the country’s intellectual property regime. Last Friday (14 September), the Chennai-based Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) which is responsible for hearing appeals on patent applications, rejected a petition by German pharma major Bayer AG, seeking a stay on an order of India’s Controller of Patents granting a compulsory licence (CL) to Indian generic drug maker Natco Pharma Limited, for a drug used to treat liver and kidney cancer.