[Ip-health] New Release of IPR Chapter of India-EU Free Trade Agreement

Malini Aisola malini.aisola at gmail.com
Wed Jan 12 00:37:16 PST 2011


New Release of IPR Chapter of India-EU Free Trade Agreement

Jan 12, 2011

A draft of the IPR chapter of the EU-India FTA, made publicly available for
the first time (http://goo.gl/P4M8f , PDF, 296Kb), provides insight into
India's response in July 2010 to several EU proposals on intellectual
property protection and enforcement. The consolidated draft which was
prepared to serve as the basis of talks that took place from July 12-14,
2010, in New Delhi, reveals parties' negotiating stances in response to
preliminary positions put forth earlier (see IPR Chapter May draft:

In particular, this draft reflects India's rejection of many EU proposals
that would require India to:

    * exceed its obligations under the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), e.g by providing data
exclusivity for pharmaceutical products;
    * impose radical enforcement provisions, such as liability of
intermediary service providers, border measures for goods in transit, and
raised norms for damages and injunctions; or
    * require legislative change, e.g., on data protection, and to
accommodate the full EU demands on geographical indicators.

A chart compiled by CIS comparing proposed language by India and the EU in
several provisions with TRIPS can be found here (

Sources close to the negotiations have also confirmed that during the July
talks India reiterated its refusal to go beyond TRIPS, and its refusal to
discuss issues that require changes to Indian law. India appears to have
also reiterated that it could not finalise FTA copyright provisions before
passage of the Copyright Amendment Bill in the Indian Parliament.

It is hard to assess the current state of the negotiations on IP or to
measure the outcomes of subsequently held talks without access to recent
drafts, a public record of deliberations, or the schedule of full and
intersessional rounds taking place. However, from press and other statements
attributed to the European Commission and Indian officials after the
December 2010 EU-India Summit in Brussels, it appears that:

    * both parties plan to conclude the FTA, the biggest ever for the EU, by
Spring 2011;
    * the EU has not relaxed its pursuit of at least some "TRIPS plus"
provisions such as data protection for pharmaceuticals
    * a mutually agreed solution to India's WTO case against the EU over the
seizure of generic medicines may be round the corner. Its impact on the FTA
is open to speculation.

Because the India-EU FTA is likely to set a new precedent for future trade
agreements between developed and developing countries, and with enormous
stakes for patients across the globe, India and the EU need to get it right
and ensure no provision runs counter to the interests of millions of

For further information about the text, contact Malini Aisola
(malini.aisola[at]gmail.com) or Pranesh Prakash (pranesh[at]cis-india.org)

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