[Ip-health] NGOs urge PM to ‘resist pressure’ from U.S. on IPRs

K.M. Gopakumar kumargopakm at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 05:39:54 PDT 2016


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Business <http://www.thehindu.com/business/> » Industry
<http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/> Published: June 2, 2016 23:02
IST | Updated: June 2, 2016 23:02 IST NEW DELHI, June 2, 2016
NGOs urge PM to ‘resist pressure’ from U.S. on IPRs

   - Special Correspondent

Govt. to ensure transparency on engagements with the U.S. on IPR

A group of civil society organisations has urged Prime Minister Narendra
Modi to ‘resist,’ what they termed,“pressure from the U.S. and the
pharmaceutical multinationals based there to amend India’s Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) laws”.

The appeal comes ahead of Mr. Modi’s U.S. trip next week when the issue of
greater protection and enforcement of IPR may come up for discussions. The
group also wanted the NDA Government to ensure transparency regarding its
engagements with the U.S. on IPR issues by tabling a White Paper in
Parliament.

They said the recently announced National IPR Policy “sees the generation
of IPRs as an end in itself. However, in reality, promotion of IPRs has not
only limited the ability of developing countries to obtain critical
technologies for their economic and social development but has also
seriously impacted their peoples’ lives by making essential goods such as
medicines, seeds, and textbooks unaffordable.”

In a letter, the organisations urged the Prime Minister to reconsider the
implementation of the IPR Policy and send it back to the drawing board.
*Group members*

The civil society groups include Forum Against FTAs, Third World Network,
National Working Group on Patent Laws, Gene Campaign, New Trade Union
Initiative, Navdanya, Software Freedom Law Centre, Centre for Internet and
Society, Lawyers Collective, All Indian Drug Action Network and Initiative
for Health & Equity in Society.

The IPR Policy would send a clear message to Washington that India’s
intellectual property rights regime is not regressive, Commerce and
Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said recently.

Ms. Sitharaman, however, said India does not recognise “unilateral
measures” such as the U.S. Special 301 Report that tried to create pressure
on countries to enhance IPR protection beyond the World Trade
Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IPRs (TRIPS). The
Report had retained India on the ‘Priority Watch List’ in 2016 for not
addressing “long-standing and systemic deficiencies in its (India’s) IPR
regime.”



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