[Ip-health] News: Yahoo News (India)- Anti-counterfeiting agreement faces Indian opposition

Terri - Louise Beswick Terri at haiweb.org
Thu Aug 12 02:56:09 PDT 2010

Anti-counterfeiting agreement faces Indian opposition


Wed, Aug 11 05:17 AM


The Ministry of Commerce has expressed grievances with the World Trade
Organization (WTO) against the European Union (EU), US and Japanese-led
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). India's concerns center
around the lax rules for justifying the seizure of goods in transit,
including generic pharmaceutical drugs, which will likely be a major
sticking point as India and EU try to hash out a free trade agreement
(FTA) by October.


In a letter to the WTO, Indian trade officials described ACTA as a
protectionist initiative aimed at thwarting the developing world's
growth in evolving and distributing intellectual properties. Since India
is not one of the select countries leading ACTA negotiations, taking
place behind closed doors until earlier this year, government officials
have resolved to writing to the WTO asking the global governing body on
trade-rules to object to the drafted document. "We have spoken directly
to the member countries and decided our best recourse would be to
consult with the WTO," said a commerce official requesting anonymity.
"They are taking advantage of developed countries in Africa and Latin
America where beggars for things like pharmaceutical drugs cannot become


India's primary concerns are based on ACTA's provisions for border
measures. If governments allowed the ACTA to supersede the policies of
TRIPS, the document would allow for the seizure of medicines simply on
grounds of suspicion - and civil enforcement - creating a wider scope
for injunctions and damages on all IPRs, not only on copyright and
trademark violations.


The proposal directly opposes India's efforts to resolve a customs
dispute with the EU, a dispute which could soon land in WTO court if
resolution to instances of drug seizures by the Dutch in 2008 and 2009
are not resolved. The issue has been at the stage of consultancy since


If the case ultimately lands in a WTO dispute resolution court, it would
be a major blow to efforts for India and the EU signing an FTA.



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