Transfer Pricing Associates

US Representatives Urge IP Protection in India

post Wednesday June 26, 2013

As intellectual property rights and protection continue to become more prominent for governments and policy makers, the importance of intellectual property policy will become even more influential in international relations. Recently, a number of United States Congressmen wrote a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry. In the letter, the representatives challenged President Barack Obama to discuss with India the continued challenges of intellectual property protection in the Country.
The letter comes right before the Secretary Kerry’s upcoming visit to India. In the letter, the representatives reference the perceived violation of patents of various biopharmaceutical companies. The congressmen write about how the high Indian courts wrongfully withdrew critical patents and dismissed subsequent appeals. Additionally, the representatives assert that these violations led to a failure to produce potentially life saving drugs that deal directly with cancer. The specific case of Swiss drug company Novartis was not mentioned, but this appears to be the case that the congressional letter was addressing.
Following the allusion to the Novartis case, the letter directly focuses on the Indian government granting compulsory licenses for kidney and liver cancer drugs that were recently developed. The letter accuses the Indian government and courts of granting licenses that are "improperly driven by an interest in growing the pharma market". The language throughout the letter is aggressive and challenges the Obama administration to continue reviewing responses that the United States could take in response to the deteriorating intellectual property environment located in India.
The opinions of the congressional representatives produce a strong and seemingly aggressive stance for the United States going forward. Even if their beliefs are extreme in this context, it is clear that the issue of intellectual property protection is growing from a domestic policy problem, to a critical international policy concern. The near future of diplomatic relationships between major economies will likely continue to be affected by issues like intellectual property protection and transfer pricing.
Source: Economic Times
Image source: free digital phots
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