Washington, May 2 IANS | 6 months ago

Asserting that India's patent laws are fully compatible with international agreements, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has suggested that India and US resolve all outstanding trade issues through dialogue and engagement.

The Indian trade body said the US Trade Representative's move to keep India on the Priority Watch List in its 2014 Special 301 Report was "a sign of better understanding between the two countries."

CII, it said in a statement Thursday, "is relieved that despite calls for a downgrade from certain organizations, the report did not designate India as a 'priority foreign country,' the worst classification for countries in protection of Intellectual Property Rights.

"However, the decision to initiate an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) to assess India's progress in IPR in fall 2014 is a concerning development," it said.

CII said it strongly recommends that all outstanding issues, including differences on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), be "resolved through dialogue and engagement, which would be in the spirit of the bilateral strategic partnership that has been painstakingly forged over the years by both countries."

In recent years, it said, India has taken many steps to strengthen its innovation-enabling environment in keeping with its national priorities, including declaring 2010-20 as the "Decade of Innovation".

Regarding US concerns over Section 3 (d) of India's Patents Act, CII maintained that India's patent laws are fully compatible with the World Trade Organization (WTO) administered agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS).

In fact, the Indian laws "provide a clear definition of patentability criteria - including explicitly defined exclusions based on inventiveness," it said

"India has merely made use of the flexibilities accorded by the WTO agreement. While the USTR assessment goes against Indian Supreme Court's interpretation, it may be noted that India's judiciary is fiercely independent, similar to that in the US," CII said.

"With a new political dispensation due to take center-stage in India in just a couple of weeks, we hope to see stronger collaboration between India and the US on a wide range of issues, including IPR" said CII. Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

"We have a real window of opportunity to refocus positively, address each other's concerns and shape the future business climate in both countries," he added.

(Posted on 02-05-2014)

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