Thorny Issues Remain In EU-India Trade Talks 10/05/2011 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment 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)By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch According to European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht, there are still thorny issues on the table in the ongoing EU-India free trade agreement talks, including intellectual property issues. In answer to a formal request from members of the European Parliament, de Gucht tried to alleviate MEP concern over data exclusivity, which extends the time before generic drug producers can get access to marketing data needed to develop copies of patented drugs. “We’re not asking for data exclusivity, we just are not,” de Gucht said after many MEPs raised the issue in a debate about a parliamentary decision. What was planned, according to de Gucht, was that if India ever introduced data exclusivity, European companies would be granted that right in the same way. Yet several MEPs, including Green Party Member Ska Keller, still are concerned about possible negative effects on access to affordable drugs for poor people if the FTA were implemented in its current form. Keller said she was not convinced that the danger of data exclusivity was over. For his part, de Gucht said the much-debated IP chapter of the draft agreement would not hamper promotion, use or protection of generic drugs. In a resolution it may adopt tomorrow, the Parliament wants guarantees that access to generic drugs will not be hampered. Parliament also wants to be consulted extensively during the ongoing negotiations. Another thorny issue for the Commission is the protection of geographical indications, names for products based on places – for which it wants to set a high standard – which would be the first such commitment in Indian law. In the same debate, the EU Parliament also discussed a resolution on an FTA between the EU and Japan, and some emergency trade rules for trading with Bangladesh. When two giants like the EU and Japan did negotiate an FTA, it is not only bilateral. It would have effects on other trading partners, too, one MEP said, and could lead to further deterioration of the multilateral system. Commissioner de Gucht did not commit to any deadlines, but the EU-India treaty is expected to be in the final stage. The European Commission, the EU executive arm, is authorised to negotiate trade agreements on behalf of the European Union and bring them back for final approval. EU-India FTA status here. Questions on ACTA status from the EU Parliament here. Proposed Resolution by the Green Party here. 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 "Thorny Issues Remain In EU-India Trade Talks" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.