India, US Take Stock Of Work On IP; To Boost Copyright, Trade Secrets30/10/2015 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.The trade ministers of the United States and India yesterday reviewed work from the past year on a full range of intellectual property issues and made new commitments, as part of their larger bilateral trade policy forum. Among the issues was a commitment to work for access to medicines, increase work on trade secrets, and deepen copyright cooperation in acknowledgement of the two biggest entertainment industries in the world. The 9th ministerial-level India-US Trade Policy Forum took place in Washington, DC on 29 October.US Trade Representative Michael Froman and India Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the results of dialogues between experts on copyrights, trade secrets, patents, traditional knowledge and the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), standard essential patents, genetic resources, and IP policies that took place in 2015. Both countries emphasized the role of robust and balanced intellectual property rights protection.The joint statement is infused with language suggesting “balance,” and attention to the public interest and the poor, but it unclear how these elements will be protected going forward, as India moves more toward an IP-based system.Under the Trade Policy Forum, the press release said, Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman “pledged to explore further mechanisms, including technical discussions, to reduce trade costs across the health sector supply chain, including in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, in a manner that benefits patients and providers of healthcare services and products.”Intellectual property issues featured prominently in the bilateral meeting, as the US continues to work to raise the level of the IP system in India. The two sides committed to intensify work on copyright protection, including a workshop in Washington, DC in early 2016. They also will heighten work on trade secrets, including a joint workshop on trade secret protection.There was also a recognition of the importance of a “transparent and predictable policy environment for fostering innovation,” which may reflect US pressure on India’s patent system. There have been significant concerns in India that the current administration will cave in to these pressures to the detriment of the public (for example, see here).From the press release on the USTR website: “Intellectual PropertyMinister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman praised the increased engagement between technical and senior officials on intellectual property (IP) and reviewed the results of the dialogues on copyrights, trade secrets, patents, traditional knowledge and the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), standard essential patents, genetic resources, and IP policies that took place in 2015. Both countries emphasized the role of robust and balanced intellectual property rights protection in fostering creativity, promoting innovation, and attracting investment, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders including the public. Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman reiterated the goal of ensuring the poorest populations in India and the United States have access to quality healthcare, and committed to identifying ways in which trade and innovation policies can enhance access to quality health and affordable medicines.Ambassador Froman welcomed the efforts of the Government of India to prepare a National IP Policy and constituting an “IPR Think Tank” in this regard. The Think Tank followed an extensive and transparent process to solicit comments from stakeholders. Minister Sitharaman reiterated India’s on-going efforts to reduce pendency and strengthen the IP regime in India through this policy and other measures like increasing technical manpower and streamlining procedures.The United States and India agreed to deepen cooperation on copyright, recognizing the shared interest of the largest entertainment industries in the world to promote and protect their artistic and creative content. Both countries welcomed the scheduling of a workshop on copyright policies and implementation in Washington in the first quarter of 2016 with the participation of relevant agencies from both countries. Both countries voiced concern about the unauthorized recording, including camcording, of films in cinemas and copyright piracy on websites. India highlighted positive reforms relating to anti-camcording measures proposed in forthcoming amendments to the existing Indian Cinematograph Act.India and the United States noted the exchange of information on trade secrets protection, and the fact that both nations are committed to strong protection of trade secrets in their respective countries. They agreed to deepen cooperation on trade secrets through continued exchange of information and best practices, as well as convening a joint workshop involving interested stakeholders on effective trade secret protection mechanisms.With respect to the aforementioned issues under discussion, both countries recognized the importance of providing a transparent and predictable policy environment for fostering innovation. Discussions in 2015 helped provide greater transparency into IPR issues, and lay the foundation for further work in 2016. Both sides reaffirmed the need to continue exchange of best practices and information on issues being discussed earlier as well as other relevant trade issues of interest including Geographical Indications and trademarks.The two countries agreed to explore increased interaction and cooperation at the operational level between their respective patent offices through enhanced exchange of best practices and IP data.Next StepsIn conclusion, Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman expressed satisfaction with the discussions held during the ninth round of the TPF and reiterated their mutual commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation in trade and investment. Minister Sitharaman thanked Ambassador Froman for hosting the ninth round of the TPF in Washington, DC. They agreed to convene the tenth round of the TPF in India in 2016.” Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."India, US Take Stock Of Work On IP; To Boost Copyright, Trade Secrets" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.