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India stays on US patent watch list

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has again placed India on its Priority Watch List, along with six other nations, including Russia and China, for alleged inadequate intellectual property rights’ protection and enforcement.

It has alleged that India’s overall IP enforcement remains inadequate and trademark counterfeiting continues to remain problematic.

On Data Protection Bill 2021, it said that right holders remain concerned with the concise language of the bill, noting that problematic issues may be reintroduced at the rule-making stage after the bill is enacted.

The Office of the USTR on Wednesday released its Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of US trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights.

“Patent issues continue to be of particular concern in India,” the USTR said, citing the potential threat of patent revocations, lack of presumption of patent validity and the narrow patentability criteria under the Indian Patents Act impact companies across different sectors.

“In this year’s Report, trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns this year regarding insufficient IP protection or enforcement or actions that otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection. Seven countries are on the Priority Watch List: Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Venezuela,” it said.

These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.The Special 301 report is an annual review of the global state of IP protection and enforcement. It added that over the past year, India has remained inconsistent in its progress on intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement. PTI

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