With the public hearing for the 2016 Special 301 Report going on at the USTR, I want to bring forth some pertinent statistics pertaining to the written submissions. These statistics have been deduced by me based on the written comments made as of February 19, 2016. To view the entire docket of the written comments made, visit here.
For a timeline of the 2016 Special Report, visit here. ( For more on the Special 301 Report, visit my post here and here. I also have a working Op-Ed in progress which I will share with the readers once it is published.)
Total Written comments received : 75 (Including notices of intent to testify and duplicate submissions)
Written comments serving as source of information for designating countries : 66
Notices of intent to testify and repetitions: 9
Number of organizations recommending India to be designated as a Priority Watch List Country (PWL) : 11
(It is pertinent to note that none of the trade groups have recommended India to be either designated as a Priority Foreign Country or as a Watch List Country. I’ve compiled a list of organizations that demand India to be designated as PWL alongwith their substantive areas of concern. Whether they recommended for heightened scrutiny by way of an Out- of-Cycle Review has also been included. The file is available here.)
Number of organizations that made no recommendation for countries to be designated but made adverse comments on India’s IPR framework : 5
(iii) Croplife America
Number of organizations that did not designate any country : 5
These are inclusive of organizations that expressed their dismay over the Special 301 Process being partisan and serving U.S. trade interests. These include –
(iii) Alibaba Group
(iv) Knowledge Ecology International – Submitted notice of intent to testify on the usage of compulsory licenses including cancer drug patents in India.
(v) Public Citizen – Defended India’s patent regime as complying with WTO standards.
Number of organizations that designated other countries except India : 8
These include –
(viii) The Sports Coalition
Number of Indian organizations that submitted their written comments: 3
They defended India’s IP regime and include –
Number of Corporations that made India specific comments but did not designate : 3
(i) Boeing – Was overall in favor of India’s existent IP regime. Unlike many corporations, Boeing does not view India IP’s regime as a trade barrier for itself.
(iii) Honeywell International Inc. – Lauded India’s IP regime and did not view it as an impediment for itself to conduct business in India.
(ii) General Electric Company – Expressed some concerns over India’s IP regime. These include –
(a) Backlog in patent and trademark offices.
(b) Absence of protection for trade secrets.
Number of comments made by Governments and organizations of various nations except India : 22
These include –
(iii) Government of Ecuador
(vii) Embassy of Indonesia
(ix) Registro de la Propiedad Intelectual ( Ministry of Guatemala)
(xiv )Bedreddine Radi
(xx) Apex – Brasil
Number of Notice of Intent to Testify : 3 (excluding Knowledge Ecology International)
These include –
A noteworthy aspect is the absence of Government of India to submit a notice of intent to testify at the public hearing. I’ll be covering the public hearing at ISGLP’s blog as soon as the details are in public domain. (the hearing is expected to continue until March 4th, 2016). Watch out for this space!