IPR essential for fostering creativity: Modi to US media honchos

NEW YORK: IPRIntellectual Property Rights (IPR) has been a contentious issue between India and the United States (US) for a while. India is looking to strengthen its IPR and the US has been asking it to understand its importance to US industries. Addressing top media honchos in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “This is a technology driven era. We are a technology driven society. We are committed to protecting IPR, which is essential to fostering creativity.”

The media group comprised News Corp, 21st Century Fox, Sony, Discovery, Time Warner, A&E, VICE Media, which is nearly 40 per cent of the world’s entertainment industry.  A round table on technology and communications with media heads focused on leveraging India’s growth story. The media heads wanted speedier expansion in broadband infrastructure. They said that the current strong trajectory of the Indian economy makes it at a unique moment to accelerate growth in this sector.

India maintains it complies with the global IPR rules under the trade-related aspects of IPR Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But US firms contend that India has lax rules on intellectual property rights especially in the pharmaceutical sector and the piracy of films and software. The US has been asking the Indian government to take the necessary steps to create an IPR environment, which provides innovators and creators with the ability to effectively protect and enforce their intellectual property rights.  The US believes a predictable system will ultimately encourage the investments required to grow India’s innovative industries. In the US, more than one-third of the GDP, and a similar percentage of employment, is based in IP-intensive industries.

The US has been emphasising on the protection of IPR as it will stimulate innovation and creativity in India and will discourage counterfeiting and piracy as the public accepts and respects intellectual property rights. Mr Modi could take up the issue of IPR when he meets US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session on September 28.

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