Business Standard: Obama to raise industry concerns at patent regime in India with Singh

Business Standard: Obama to raise industry concerns at patent regime in India with Singh
September 27, 2013

United States President Barack Obama might raise industry concerns over the patent regime in India when he meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday. The Alliance for Free Trade with India (AFTI) on Thursday urged the US President to “stand up for  American industry.” ATFI said that industries in the US are unhappy with the “discriminatory trade practices” by India.

“We (US) follow almost all global norms which are widely accepted. However, India has deviated from them, which is hurting industries both in India and in the US,” said Linda Dempsey, vice-president of International Economic Affairs, National Association of Manufacturers, through a conference call.

AFTI said India is seeking to benefit its own domestic industry at the expense of businesses in the US. “Only India is flouting the intellectual property right (IPR) rules which is disappointing. In 2010, India declared that the next ten years would be a decade of innovation for the business community, but the policy and judicial decisions by the country have disappointed,” said Mark Elliot, Executive Vice President of US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Centre.

Dempsey added that protection of IPR is one of the crucial factors in the mind of investors and an inadequate regime makes investment sentiments worse. “The President has taken note of our concern and would raise this in his meeting with the Indian PM,” said Dempsey.

She added that the US had taken moves which have always welcomed Indian manufacturers.

Various American lawmakers and industry players have raised concerns over India’s patent act which they claimed restricts patents for already known drugs unless the new claims are superior in terms of efficacy. Recently, the US had also criticised the Supreme Court’s verdict turning down Novartis’ patent plea for a cancer drug.

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