Please wait while the page is loading...


India, US Agree to Enhanced IP Cooperation

11 March 2015

India, US Agree to Enhanced IP Cooperation

India and the US have agreed to enhance their engagement on intellectual property rights, a vexing issue between the two countries.


Visiting US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed the importance of providing transparent and predictable policy environment for fostering innovation at a meeting in late January.


Recognizing the progress made in constructive engagement on intellectual property under the last round of the India-US Trade Policy Forum held in November last year, the two sides also looked forward to enhance “engagement on IPR in 2015 under the High Level Working Group on IP, to the mutual benefit of both the countries,” the statement said. 


According to Natasha Bali, an associate at ZeusIP Advocates in New Delhi, the benefits that India would derive out of the intellectual property engagement are, presently, difficult to access, since there is no written agreement or contract which enlists the exact terms that the countries wish to enter into to enhance their IP relationship.


“Based on the previous and current talks between the two countries, one can gather is the US intends on bringing about a change/amendment in the existing IP structure in India,” she says, “and the core area of focus is patents and piracy in films and software industry.”


Bali says that to address the same the two moves initiated by India were constitution of the joint Indo-US working group on intellectual property rights and a think-tank to draft a national IPR policy.


She says positive outcomes are likely under two conditions: that the rather strained business and economic relationship between India and the US would be resolved to an extent that could increase the investment and involvement of big companies into India, and that India would be removed from the priority watch list that gives an impression of India not being an IP-friendly country and in violation of WTO and TRIPS terms and conditions.


Bali says India has a robust IP system and is in complete compliance with the WTO framework. “The policies/rules/ regulations provided under the Patent Act are framed in a manner which helps in maintaining a perfect balance between the inventor’s rights and public interest at large,” she says.

Law firms