[Ip-health] USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights | United States Trade Representative

Anupam Chander achander at ucdavis.edu
Thu Apr 30 10:41:23 PDT 2015

Thanks, Jamie.

The report criticizes India for a high percentage of counterfeit goods, leading to a loss of $11.9 billion in sales resulting from “counterfeiting issues” (p. 13). (This seems to be one of the justifications for continuing India’s placement on the Priority Watch list.)

The report bases that claim on a 2012 Indian industry report (available here: http://www.ficci.com/spdocument/20190/Executive-Summary-invisible-enemy-aug-8-2013.pdf) on
grey market activities (defined there as “transactions which are done outside the authorized channels of trade and mainly includes counterfeiting, smuggling and tax evaded goods”).  Thus, these could have been non-counterfeit goods imported into the country without payment of the relevant tariff or other tax. Those should not count as a loss to the rights holder, but rather as a loss to the exchequer alone.

Moreover, it’s not clear to me how the “estimated sales loss” is calculated by that 2012 report. I would hope that it’s not the simplistic and erroneous assumption that a pirated copy of Windows or Office meant a loss of the full price sale of that product. (This study didn’t actually look at computer software, but I’m using that as the classic example.) Perhaps others will be able to enlighten me in case I’m misreading the report.

Finally, this sentence in the USTR Section 301 report was surprising because it in embedded in a paragraph that seems critical of India’s use of compulsory licensing: "Specifically, India has, in the past, promoted compulsory licensing in its National Manufacturing Policy as a mechanism available for government entities to effectuate technology transfer in the clean energy sector."


On Apr 30, 2015, at 9:44 AM, Jamie Love <james.love at keionline.org<mailto:james.love at keionline.org>> wrote:

The new Special 301 list is out.

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