US downgrades India’s IPR status

John Kerry Speaks At SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit

As India and the US seek to improve their bilateral trade by leaps and bounds, the Obama administration on April 27 kept China, Russia and India on its annual list of countries with the worst records of preventing the theft of intellectual property. This development comes as a hurdle in the growing economic ties between India and the US. The US government also cited Switzerland for failing to curb online copyright infringements.

The annual list was released by the US Trade Representative’s Office. It carries no threat of sanctions. However, the list does shame governments and expects them to crack down on piracy and counterfeiting, as well as updating their copyright laws.

“Intellectual property is a critical source of economic growth and high-quality jobs for the United States, and it is more important than ever to prevent foreign governments and competitors from ripping off United States innovators who are trying to support high-paying jobs by exporting their goods and services to consumers around the world,” US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.

According to the US trade agency, the value-add of the US- held intellectual property was approximately $5 trillion in 2010. This contributed 34% to the US GDP that year and supported 40 million jobs in IP-intensive industries.

There are 23 other countries on the “Watch List”. The list highlights other IP problems. The countries included in the list are: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

India had recently claimed, however, that its intellectual property rights regime was fully in compliance with global norms. “The country will not succumb to any pressure from anywhere to modify it,” said the Commerce Ministry.

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