India and the WIPO Broadcasters Treaty : Past Position & Future

Background :

In a previous post, I had made a cursory remark on the WIPO Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations (WBT). Since the commencement of the negotiations for the WBT, the Indian delegation has expressed its reservations on some of the key provisions. This is possibly because voice has been expressed that no objective reason for the WBT had been established. However, this is far from true.

Ahead of the 32nd Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), scheduled from May 9th to May 13, 2016, I will highlight India’s position in the last two SCCRs. The upcoming SCCR could be decisive for the multilateral norm-setting by WIPO for protection of broadcasting organizations. I’ll highlight that there is a compelling need for India to support the WBT.

Broadcasters

Past Position: 

On a general reading of India’s official statement at the last two SCCRs, it’s clear that India is willing to engage in a dialogue with divergent stakeholders and possibly support the treaty once it’s assured that an equilibrium between the copyright owners, the disseminators and consumers is established.

At the 31st SCCR, December, 2015 :

  • The Indian delegation maintained its prior position of the proposed broadcasting treaty to conform to the  mandate of the 2007 General Assembly : adoption of a signal based approach strictly confined to traditional broadcasting and  cablecasting. Exclusion of webcasters, computer networks, simulcasters or near – live or deferred transmission which it believes were based on different investment models.
  •  Against the inclusion of  post-fixation rights in WBT as it believes that the scope of protection only covered signal protection.
  • Flexible about considering fixation for rebroadcasting and time-shifting purposes.
  • Supportive of limitations and exceptions for private use, for reporting current events, for education and scientific research and ephemeral fixation by broadcasting organizations for using its facilities and for its own broadcasts.

At the 30th SCCR, July, 2015 :

  • Supportive of unauthorized live transmission of signal over computer networks only if the broadcasting organization had rights over the content.
  • Strictly against creation of an extra – layer of rights over content for which broadcasters had a  licence to broadcast only.
  • Against a new “right of authorisation” as the “right to prohibit” covered the situation.
  • Against post- fixation rights and in favour of limitations and exceptions.

 

broadcasting 1

Image Courtesy : Mirex Marketing

Does India Need A Broadcasters Treaty? 

Considerable opinion on the failure of the proponents of  the WBT to elucidate its need has been voiced. Though, I’m of the view that the rai·son d’ê·tre for the WBT is firmly established.

Section 40 A (1) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 affords protection to foreign broadcasters against signal piracy in India. However, this reciprocity was unavailable to Indian broadcasters in most foreign countries. Hence, in the absence of an international legal framework, Indian broadcasters do not have a standing to sue under domestic legislation of a country where their signal is  pirated. This calls for harmonization of legal protection afforded to broadcasters across all jurisdictions. The WBT is a step in that direction.

 An opinion has been voiced that there was no need for the WBT as the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 had the same protection measures for broadcasting organizations as envisaged by the WBT. However, this is far from true. Neither does the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 protect pre – broadcast signal nor does it clearly spell out the ownership of Broadcast Reproduction Right. Hence, the WBT was imperative to fill the existing lacuna in domestic legislation

Studies have indicated that given the wide availability of pirated Indian movie content on the Internet, its demand was rampant. Majority of the probable consumers of these pirated movies were million of consumers residing abroad. Hence, there is a high probability of popular Bollywood movies being transmitted on new media platforms. If the WBT extends protection to illegal transmission over internet, it would go a long way in preventing loss of revenue to Bollywood on account of signal piracy.  Losses on account of music and movie piracy are massive, with industry reports valuing it to approximately $4 billion per year. Further, India has the highest rates of video piracy in the world, underscoring the need for an effective international legal framework for protection of broadcasting organizations.

The WBT has found considerable support amongst Indian Broadcasters. Even then, the Indian delegation had not resonated the views of its own industry in the past SCCRs.

Inclusion of limitations and exceptions in the WBT has been expressed by the Indian delegation. However, it has faced stiff opposition from the majority particularly the European Union. A via media to solve this deadlock can be adopted. Provision for Exceptions and Limitations based on the industry or culture of the Member States or as provided by their national legislation may prove to a fruitful strategy. Same position has been adopted in several other international treaties. Example : Article 16 of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

Conclusion and Way Forward :

The last WIPO General Assembly ended in a political stalemate over several issues, with national delegations of various countries not supporting the WBT due to divergence of views. The WBT is perhaps the only IP treaty till  date which is bereft of the classic North – South differences. Hence, these divergence of views is preposterous.

Signal piracy not only impedes the growth of Indian broadcasting industry severely but even causes substantial loss of revenue to Bollywood. Given this and the critical stage of negotiations, India should wholeheartedly support the WBT at the upcoming SCCR , which will be decisive for determining its fate. ” It’s Now or Never!“.

 

 

 

Posted in Copyright Law, Global Politics of IP, Indian Copyright Law, IP & Innovation Policy | 2 Comments

Tale of True IP Indices or Cosy Camaraderie : The Special 301 & the International IP Index Nexus

Annually, the United States of America releases two IP indicators of countries which falls short of its standards of IP protection. First being the International IP Index (the Index) by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) around February of each year. Followed by the paper tiger instrument called the Special 301 Report by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) around the last week of April. (For more on the Index, see here and on the Special 301, see here).

 In this post, I want to highlight the close nexus between these two indices with a special reference to this year’s Index and the Special 301 Report.

The Differences : 

The Index was devised as a road map for countries to formulate IP related policies that would enable them to reach their full innovative and economic capabilities. While, the Special 301 Report assess the IP regimes of U.S’s trading partners which act as trade barriers for its corporations. Thus, while the former is an economic parameter, the latter is a political one (even though toothless – being violative of the WTO Dispute Settlement Process. Read more on this here).

The Index is an academic exercise aimed at studying the benefits accruing to a nation’s economy on account of a robust IP regime. On the other hand, the Special 301 surveys IP policies of nations to determine losses to its corporations. With slight restraint, I’m tempted to say that the Index is merely persuasive in value, while the latter is a coercive “paper tiger” instrument ( the legality of the Special 301 Process being questionable. Read more on this here).

The ambit of the Special 301 is much wider than the Index. This year, the USTR analysed IP regimes of 73 trading partners while the GIPC mapped the IP environment of 38 economies of the world. However, with respect to subject matter, the Index has a wider reach. It’s based upon 30 indicators spanning six categories – patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, enforcement, and international treaties. Further, not only does the Index measure the IP strength of a nation but also gauges the benefits accruing from those strengths.

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The Nexus or the Cosy Camaraderie : 

The objections raised by both these indices this year with respect to India bear close semblance.  A plausible reason could be that the  Index uses the Special 301 as a source for arriving at its findings and vice – versa.

Further, at the release of this year’s Index,  Professor Meir Pugatch (the brain behind the Index) was questioned  on the interplay between the two indices. To which, he replied that though there were many overlaps between the two, the Index reflected the overall sentiment of its members (basically  the U.S. corporate interest) while the Special 301 took into account diverse stakeholders.

This raises an eye – brow, for the prevalent extent of lobbying by U.S. trade groups is no secret. Professor Peter Drahos’s articulation on the Special 301 in his treatise the Information Feudalism is noteworthy. According to him, the Special 301 was  “a public law devoted to the service of private corporate interests.” (Page Number 89).

This is corroborated by the statistics compiled by the American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. According to it, in the 2008 Special 301 Report, 86% of the nations singled out by the IIPA and 75% of the nations singled out by PhRMA were in that year’s Report.

Key Area Similarities Between the 4th Edition of the International IP Index and the 2016 Special 301 Report :

  • Non – conformance of patentability criteria to international standards.
  • Absence of regulatory data protection and patent term restoration.
  • Unfair and arbitrary policy on issuance of compulsory licenses.
  • Not a contracting party to major international treaties such as the WIPO Internet Treaties, the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks and the Patent Law Treaty.

Global IP Index

Differences : Concerns Expressed in the Special 301 but not in the International IP Index

  • Proposed amendments to patent rules incentivizing localized manufacturing.
  • With respect to the pharmaceutical industry, lack of protection against unfair commercial usage.
  • Lack of effective notification system for marketing approval for generics.

Differences : Concerns Expressed in the International IP Index but not in the Special 301

  •  Copyright related issues – (i) Term of protection (ii) Legal measures providing exclusive rights for preventing infringement of copyrights and related rights (iii) Scope of limitations and exceptions (iv) Absence of a Digital Rights Management Legislation (v) Absence of implementation of policies requiring proprietary software used on government ICT systems to be licensed software.
  •  Trademark related issues – (i) Term of protection and renewal period (ii) Non – discrimination and non-restriction on the use of brands in packaging of different products (iii) Ability of trademark owners to protect their trademarks (iv) Legal measures for redressal for  unauthorized usage of trademarks (v) Availability of frameworks for promoting action against  online sale of counterfeit goods.

GIPC’s Submission to the USTR for the 2016 Special 301 replicates the issues raised by it in the Index. Though distinctive in their nature, India related findings of both the indices are very similar particularly in the patent sphere. Thus, indicative of the partisan nexus between them. Professor Drahos elucidating this cosy camaraderie as –

By the early 1990’s the USTR, the intellectual property lobby and the companies for which they worked had a closeness borne of participation in a common crusade.

This makes me ponder whether stakeholders barring the lobbyists (public interest organizations, academic institutions and foreign governments) have a real say in the Special 301 Process? I think not.

 

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Posted in Global Politics of IP, IP & Innovation Policy, Others | 4 Comments

Horror Revisited: USTR Unveils the 2016 Special 301 Report

PhRMA’s official statement is now available on its website (though in the USTR’s press release, it finds no voice). On India’s IP regime, keeping up to its banality, it states –

India’s barriers to U.S. trade and investment, including its failure to respect intellectual property rights, continue to harm biopharmaceutical innovators and many other industries across the United States and around the world. While biopharmaceutical innovators saw potentially positive signs from the Indian Government in 2015, translating these positive statements into concrete progress has remained a challenge. PhRMA members welcome USTR’s decision to maintain India on the Priority Watch List and the emphasis the Special 301 Report places on achieving substantive and measurable results. Sustained engagement is essential to promote meaningful reform of India’s patent laws and policies.

In a series of posts, I’ll do a section wise analysis of India’s designation under the Report. I’m particularly keen to see how far PhRMA’s comments to the 2016 Special 301 were taken into account by USTR. Though, its no secret that USTR is the mouth – piece of the Washingtonian lobbyists.

Source: Horror Revisited: USTR Unveils the 2016 Special 301 Report

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Horror Revisited: USTR Unveils the 2016 Special 301 Report

Almost coinciding with the World IP Day (which was yesterday), the USTR has unveiled the much awaited 2016 Special 301 Report. I’ve extensively covered the Special 301 in my previous posts. (See here, here, here, here, here ,here and here).

 Not to anyone’s surprise, India is on the Priority Watch List with the USTR retaining an option of conducting an Out- Of- Cycle Review (OCR). OCR depending upon either positive or negative developments warranting a review prior to the annual cycle. Basically, much would depend on India’s National IPR Policy, which by now should have been released. (Well beyond the “fortnight” timeline, I wonder behind which veil is the Policy shrouding!)

In the press release, the usual industry representatives (RIAA, MPAA and ETA) have voiced the importance of IP to American innovation ecosystem. Though, the deafening silence by PhRMA in the press release is somewhat surprising.

Skimming through the Report, I’m awestruck with India figuring in the list of ” Best IPR Practices by Trading Partners”   (Page 10 of the Report). It finds mention in the sub- section on “predictability, transparency, and meaningful engagement between governments and stakeholders.”  Exemplifying on this parameter, the Report states –

USTR supports predictability, transparency, and meaningful engagement between governments and stakeholders in the development of national laws, regulations, procedures, and other measures. Stakeholders report that such transparency and participation allow governments to avoid unintended consequences and facilitate stakeholder compliance with legislative and regulatory changes. For example, in late 2015, India issued a draft for public comment of proposed amendments to India’s Patents Rules and held hearings with interested stakeholders. USTR encourages continued, meaningful engagement with interested stakeholders as India continues to develop these and other IPR-related laws and regulations.

Lauding the robust bilateral engagement between the two countries on vital IPR issues, concerns over the following issues (rather rhetoric) have been expressed – (Country wise report on India runs from page number 38 to 45)

  1. Proposed amendments to the Patent Rules.
  2. Unpredictability in application of S. 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970.
  3. Opaque procedure for soliciting comments for issuance of guidelines on the patentability of computer-related inventions.
  4. Patent related challenges to the pharmaceutical industry – (i) Unpredictability and irregularity in the application of Section 3(d) of Indian Patents Act (ii)  Lack of effective protection against unfair commercial use (iii) Ambiguous standards for issuance of compulsory licenses under S. 85 and 92 of the Indian Patent Act (iv) Lack of effective notification system for marketing approvals for generics.
  5. High levels of piracy and counterfeiting.
  6. Absence of legislative protection for trade secrets.
  7. Non – ratification to major international IPR treaties such as the WCT, the WPPT, and the Singapore Treaty.

Priority to these issues shall be revitalized by entering into a dialogue with the IP Working Group.  For the benefit of readers, the IP Working Group (formally known as the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property)  was established by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi.

In a series of posts, I’ll do a section wise review of India’s designation under the Report.

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Happy World Book and Copyright Day!

From my abode of a year and  a half (Gelman Library’s top floor), I wish all readers a very happy world book and copyright day! Not only are books a man’s closest companion but as Shakespeare puts it, “a force to counter the common curse of mankind – folly and ignorance“. The World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated by UNESCO to commemorate Shakespeare’s death anniversary and to promote the culture of reading, publishing and copyright.

This phrase, ” the culture of reading, publishing and copyright” poses an interesting quandary. The quandary being the jurisprudence of copyright protection. Between 1589 and 1613, when Shakespeare produced his seminal literary works, there was no form of copyright regulation in England. Nevertheless, the Bard of Avon was undeterred to pen his thoughts.  It was only after many years of his death, that the first IP legislation – the Licensing of the Press Act, 1662 was enacted in England. Even then, it was only in 1710 with the passage of the Statute of Anne by the British Parliament that copyright protection was conferred to literary works. Hence, testifying that copyright was not necessarily an incentive for creative expression, for one of the greatest English writers flourished in absentia of a copyright regime.

Books Shelf

 Image Courtesy : RadioLab

Infact, just last night over dinner I was asked about the copyrightability of certain English works. My father’s dear friend – Mark Turner has a quaint hobby of collecting Regency charades (a form of rhyming riddles) and subsequently blogging about it. Due to their antiquity, locating original versions was not only difficult but extremely expensive. However, he was successful in procuring their reprints from various sources and is perhaps one of the handful owners in the world of such a Collection.

He asked me if he was violating copyright law, even though it was purely a non – commercial activity. Considering that these charades were written during the Regency period, which ran roughly from 1776 through the 1830’s, they were copyrightable subject matter under the Statute of Anne (which was enacted in 1710).  He breathed a sigh of relief on being told by me that he need not worry. All these works had fallen into public domain and could be used without seeking permission of their authors. Another interesting thing about these riddles is that majority of them were penned under a pseudonym. Had these works not fallen into public domain, a bigger issue of orphan works had to be combated. (On a side note, try guessing some of these riddles. Apart from being fun, they’re a good exercise for the gray cells!)

On the World Copyright Day, I want to highlight this year’s two noteworthy copyright developments  at the domestic and international front –

(i) The transfer of the Indian Copyright Office from the Ministry of Human Resources and Development to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. I’ve written about this here.

(ii) A very critical time for the WIPO Broadcasters Treaty (The Treaty) : The 47th WIPO General Assembly ended in a political stalemate over several issues on the impeding WIPO Broadcasters Treaty. In the upcoming WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), if the national governments do not explicitly come out in support of the Treaty, it could spell doom and perhaps mark the end of a road map for an international legal framework for protection of broadcasting organizations.

 

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Transfer of the Indian Copyright Office : Deal Struck or Coincidence?

The recent announcement on the transfer of the Indian Copyright Office from the Ministry of Human Resources to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has garnered mixed reaction from the relevant stakeholders.

One argument is that by consolidating all IP offices under one Government department would lead to better coordination and avoidance of clash of jurisdictions. The other side of the argument goes to the history of the Indian copyright law, indicating a close relationship between copyright law and India’s education policy.

Not delving into the merits of the arguments (though I’m personally in favour of consolidation considering copyright ‘s  diverse industry base ranging from broadcasting to the software industry ), I want to highlight a plausible reason for this shift.(Since there has been no Government notification explaining the reasons for the transfer).

The U.S. – India Business Council (USIBC),  a prominent U.S. business advocacy  organization for cementing India – U.S. trade relations, had recommended for such a consolidation in its testimony to the USTR for the 2016 Special 301 held on March 31st, 2016. It stated –

We recommend that responsibility for the enforcement of the Copyright Act of 1947 and related international convention be consolidated and shifted to one department, like the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

 Hence, to me this decision by the Government seems like a bye – product of the ensuing negotiations going on between India and U.S. on former’s IPR Policy. It could also be India’s last ditch attempt for upgrading its status or an undertoning ahead of the 2016 Special 301 Report which is due for release somewhere around April 30th, 2016.

What deal was struck between the Government of India and the USIBC is for posterity to reveal. All I can say is that given the perfect timing, the USIBC’s recommendation and the Government of India’s decision cannot be mere coincidence.

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2016 Special 301 : Thoughts on the Public Hearing

Today, I finally got the chance to review the testimonies made to the USTR for the 2016 Special 301. ( See here, here, here  here, here,and here on 2016 Special 301. On a side note, I’m still grappling with USTR’s unusual delay in uploading its transcript and video. As per  Mr. Mehta, they should’ve been uploaded to USTR’s website within a fortnight).

 

Image - US - India IPR Relations

 

In my previous post, I had analysed submissions made by various trade groups and not – for- profit organizations, on India’s IPR regime. Out of those, following testified at the public hearing – (please note that only submissions pertaining to India have been highlighted)

(A) Alliance for Free Trade With India (ATFI) :

Brian Pomper, Executive Director expressed concerns over India’s leaked Draft National IPR Policy, primarily on two grounds – (a) Onerous local manufacturing requirements and (b) Failure to ensure regulatory data protection.

He opined that India had not made substantive and measurable improvements in its IPR regime. And hence, at a minimum, an Out – of – Cycle review was warranted.

Question raised by Christine Peterson of the USTR : How would he characterize the initiatives taken in the past 12 months by the Modi Government? 

According to him, there were some positive developments. However, due to the broad sweep of its member companies, more was expected. Data exclusivity was a major area of concern.

Question raised by Jean Bonilla of the U.S. Department of State : What were his views on the Make in India initiative? 

It was a general policy matter, which every country was free to decide. However, provision in the Draft National IPR Policy to give expedited review to patent applications filed by entities that committed to manufacturing in India was partial treatment. 

(B)  Business Software Alliance (BSA)

Leticia Lewis, Director for Policy opined that revised guidelines on the patentability of computer-related inventions issued by the Indian Patent Office was extremely troubling. It was violative of TRIPS as it prevented many software-enabled innovations from receiving patent protection in India.  

(C) Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)

Mark  Lauroesch, Executive Director expressed concern over  India’s requirement on the existence of a  contractual relationship between the patent owner and the would-be misappropriator for bringing a misappropriation action. 

Question raised by Michael Smith of the USPTO :How did the introduction of utility model protection (such as that proposed by India’s Draft National IPR Policy) increase litigation? (This was based on IPO’s written submission made to the USTR. The relevant excerpt from their submission is, “There is also a recommendation to add utility model protection to support the informal segment of India’s economy. Although there might be some benefits, this might also lead to increased litigation and uncertainty for innovators operating in India, as has been the case with a similar system in China. ” – Pg. 14).

He answered that with utility models, no examination was required. Because of this more questionable IP rights were formulated. and perhaps asserted. This lead to an increase in litigation.

(D) Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

James Love, Director of KEI testified that based on his review of the submissions, many were focused on India. Couple of the submissions stated that India had agreed not to issue compulsory licenses by signing an agreement. If the U.S. Government was in  possession of the agreement, it should be made public. They would definitely like to see it. 

Question raised by Stevan Mitchell of the U.S. Department of Commerce : Based on ATFI’s submission there was inadequate protection for trade secrets in India. As the Subcommittee would analyse the adequacy and effectiveness of India’s trade secret laws, were there any principles or considerations  that he suggested should be kept in mind?

He hoped that the USTR would not have an overly broad view of what constituted trade secret and that it would’nt discourage governments from mandating transparency.

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(E) Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Chris Moore, Deputy Vice President for International Policy at PhRMA expressed that restrictive patentability criteria (u/s 3 (d) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970) prevented introduction of new dosage forms and combinations that could promote adherence and lower overall health care costs by innovators and generics. Weak patent enforcement posed a serious problem. After additional duties and assessments, effective tariffs on medicines in India was as high as 20 %.  All of this mandated India to be placed on Priority Watch List with an Out – Of- Cycle review.

Question raised by Maureen Pettis of the U.S. Department of Labour : What was the economic impact of restrictive patentability criteria on U.S.  pharmaceutical industry? 

He answered that the economic impact was difficult to quantify.

(F) Public Citizen  

Burcu Kilic, Public Citizen’s Global  Access to Medicines Program came out in support of India’s patentability criteria. She opined that S. 3(d) of Indian Patent Act, 1970 was structured as a subject matter eligibility threshold and not as a  patentability test. Thus, was TRIPS compliant and should not be cited in the the Special 301 (on India’s TRIP’s -compliant interpretation of patentability criteria).

Further, she also came out in support of India’s stance on issuance of compulsory license for a cancer medicine.  She said that issuance of CL complied with India’s patent law ,  which was narrower than TRIPS permissible limits. 

Question raised by Mary Critharis of the USPTO : Public Citizen in its written submission had remarked with respect to India that countries should be given the flexibility to determine patentability standards. On this, she asked whether there were any situations in which a new form, a new formulation or a new structure could be given patent protection? Or did it believe that there should be a policy barring all such innovations.

Burcu Kilic answered that Indian patent law afforded due protection to new inventions. S.3 (d) of the Patent Act, 1970 was formulated as a test to determine whether the subject matter was a new invention. And if the subject matter was new use, it was subjected to the patentability by the Indian Patent Office. However, there was a major problem with these so – called inventions. They were mostly second-rate patents ( implying thereby that they were not new inventions).

(G) GLOBAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CENTER

Patrick Kilbride, Executive Director for International IP remarked that he expected Indian Government  to instill legal certainty in the marketplace. Threat of issuance of compulsory license and patentability of computer-related inventions were major areas of concern. 

(H) U.S. – India Business Council (USIBC)

Mukesh Aghi, President of USIBC remarked that important developments related to India’s IP regime had taken place in the last  12 months. Some  of them were (a) Frequent interaction between U.S. and Indian Government (b) Improved transparency and frequent dialogue with the industry. (c) Denial of compulsory licenses (d) Capacity building.

Following are some pertinent recommendations made by him – (a) Consultation with industry  on the guidelines for the examination of patent application for computer-related inventions.(b) Consolidation of  enforcement of the Copyright Act and related international convention (c) Issuing guidelines for interpretation of s. 3(d) of Patents Act, 1970.

Question raised by Won Chang of the U.S. Department of the Treasury : How was Make in India related to IP? Would it lead to  intellectual property reforms?

Mukesh Aghi answered that for Make in India to be successful, a world class IP policy was imperative.

Question raised by Stevan Mitchell of the U.S. Department of Commerce : Did USIBC have a chance to review ATFI’s submissions (considering that both were Indian centric trade organizations)? And how were USIBC’s views different from ATFI’s?

He had not reviewed ATFI’s submissions but based on statistics its member companies were assured by the IP policy commitment made by the Indian Government.

CONCLUSION : 

To my delectation (though it may be short lived), the testimonies by pro – industry trade groups were not as acerbic vis- a-vis India’s IPR regime. And as usual, Jamie’s outright testimony by tabling statistics tickled my funny bone.

As I neared the last testimony, the buoyancy of my mood turned into dejection. For, it came to my knowledge only today that Manon Ress of the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment, an organization whose work I support in heart and spirit was a cancer patient since 2010 (May force be her to fight out the disease). In her testimony, she welcomed Indian Supreme Court’s rejection of the Bayer appeal on Nexavar’s compulsory license. 

What needs to be seen is whether the release of the National IPR Policy coincides with the 2016 Special 301 Report. The National IPR Policy is up for Cabinet’s consideration while the 2016 Special 301 Report would be released somewhere around April 30, 2016.

Even if the National IPR Policy is unveiled before the release of 2016 Special 301, it would not have any effect on India’s status. However, if the Policy appeals to U.S. trade organizations, its status could potentially be upgraded in the 2017 Special 301.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Global Politics of IP, IP & Innovation Policy | 1 Comment

Plagiarism : The Quixotic Legal Crime

The harbinger of India’s IPR Policy is the latest to be mired in a plagiarism row.  Allegations have been levied against the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion for plagiarizing several portions in the recently released consultative paper on Standard Essential Patents.

I did’nt have the chance to dig deeply into the paper  (being swamped with my own research paper! ).  If true, this is reflective of a very disturbing trend. Coming up with something original is arduous but giving credit not so much.

Source: Plagiarism : The Quixotic Legal Crime

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The Tale of Endless Numbered Days and Some Thoughts : 2016 Special 301 Report

The wait is finally over! The transcript and the video of the 2016 Special 301 public hearing is now available.  With deluge of professional commitments,  I’ll be able to bring my thoughts on it only after April 15th. Hence, kindly bear with it. ( For previous posts on the Special 301, see here, here, here here and here).

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Gong Xi Fa Cai, IP and Upcoming Events

The Agenda for the WIPO’s International Conference on Intellectual Property and Development being held on April 7th and 8th has been released.  The Conference will also be live webcasted. Needless, to say I’ll be coming up with my thoughts on the Conference.

Source: Gong Xi Fa Cai, IP and Upcoming Events

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