[Ip-health] The BRICSPOST: India to take US to WTO if targeted over IPR

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Feb 27 05:27:32 PST 2014


India to take US to WTO if targeted over IPR
February 26, 2014, 5:37 am

Even as trade lobbies are putting pressure on the US government to
castigate India by putting it in the 'Priority Foreign Country' list for
intellectual property rights, sources in New Delhi said India will
retaliate by dragging the US to WTO.

India insists its intellectual property rights are compliant with global
laws, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The US imposes trade sanctions after a country is included into the
"Priority Foreign Country".

The US Trade Act defines a Priority Foreign Country is the worst
classification given to those which deny adequate and effective protection
of intellectual property rights (IPR) or fair and equitable market access
to the US persons relying on IPR protection.

Officials in New Delhi have said the demands of the US industry are
"completely wrong".

"If the US does that, then India probably will have no option but drag them
to the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism," an official said.

A low-level trade war between the two largest democracies has been long

US pharma companies had objected to India's move to issue a compulsory
license in 2012 to India-based Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell
cancer-treatment drug '*Nexavar*' at a price over 30 times lower than
charged by patent-holder Bayer Corporation.

The German drugmaker Bayer had sought to block the entry of Natco's generic
version of Nexavar, which the Indian firm has been told to sell at 8,800
rupees ($160) for a monthly dose.

The USITC has raised this issue besides the rejection of patent to
Bristol-Myers Squibb's Sprycel and Novartis' Gleevec. It has stated that
Indian IPR laws are not Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS) compliant under the WTO.

In India, generic medicines account for more than 90 per cent of sales.

Swiss pharma major Novartis AG had lost a legal battle for getting its
blood cancer drug Gleevec patented in India and to restrain Indian
companies from manufacturing generic drugs. India's top court had rejected
the multinational company's plea last year.

The US International Trade Commission (USITC), a quasi-judicial federal
American agency, has already initiated an investigation against India's
trade and investment policies.

It has alleged that New Delhi's laws discriminate against the American

"The country's IPR (intellectual property rights) laws are fully compliant
with WTO. If America has any issue with our laws, they can raise that in
the WTO," an Indian official was quoted by *Press Trust of India*.

*Source: Agencies*

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