The US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office has once again placed India on the ‘priority watch’ list in this year’s Special 301 report despite the country rolling out National IPR Policy last year.
According to the US, India has once again been unsuccessful in refining and making the necessary changes in its IP laws and regulations in spite of declaring its National IPR Policy last year. Thus, the US has retained India on its priority watch list along with a few other countries.
India has been placed in ‘priority watch’ list owing to USTR’s view that India has not made adequate changes in its intellectual property (IP) laws and regulations. As per a statement made by a US Trade Representative (USTR), “India remains on the priority watch list this year for lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework on long-standing challenges and new issues that have negatively affected US right holders over the past year, particularly with respect to patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and enforcement”.
The Out-of-cycle review (OCR) of the India’s IPR regime by the USTR was started under the Obama administration in which both American, as well as Indian firms and other stakeholders submitted their reviews on India’s IPR laws. The Special 301 list has continuously placed India most often as a PWL country. Importantly, the USTR’s priority list mentions those countries that according to the US are not protecting the US copyrights and patents and are not giving the protection required to American companies. This is a serious concern for India, which needs to be looked into immediately, as it could tarnish India’s relations with the US.