India remains on U.S. Priority Watch List 

  • IASbaba
  • April 30, 2020
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India remains on U.S. Priority Watch List 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Intellectual Property Rights; GS-II – International Relations

In News:

  • According to USTR’s Annual Special 301 Report, India continues to be on the ‘Priority Watch List’ of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for lack of adequate intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement. 

Key takeaways from the report:

  • India remained one of the most challenging economies for IP enforcement and protection. 
  • Though India has made meaningful progress to enhance IP protection and enforcement in some areas over the past year, it did not resolve recent and long-standing challenges, and created new ones.
  • These long-standing concerns were about:
    • innovators being able to receive, maintain and enforce patents particularly in the pharmaceutical sector;
    • copyright laws not incentivising the creation and commercialisation of content; 
    • an outdated trade secrets framework.
  • The report also pointed out high customs duties on medical devices and Information and Communications Technology. 
  • Countries like Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are also on the Priority Watch List.

Important value additions:

Special 301 Report

  • It is prepared annually by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). 
  • It identifies trade barriers to United States companies and products due to the intellectual property laws, such as copyright, patents and trademarks, in other countries.
  • The Special 301 Report was first published in 1989.  

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