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Productive Meetings between US Trade Rep and India

post Wednesday July 17, 2013

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Following the decision of India to dismiss their practice of Preferential Market Access (PMA), the United States still has expressed concern over the protection and support of intellectual property in India. While the United States has responded positively to the end of the PMA era in India, the Obama administration and others in the United States are still very cautious and see great room for improvement for India in their protection of intellectual property.

In order to share their concerns and hopes for India, the United States Trade Representative met with high ranking officials from the Indian government. U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman met with the Minister of Indian Commerce and Industry, Annand Sharma. This meeting was utilized by Mike Froman to convey that the United States believes there has been positive progress made by the developing country to encourage an environment of innovation and the development of new ideas but that there is still a great deal of change and improvement that must happen for India to adequately protect and encourage the development of new ideas and creation of valuable intangibles and intellectual property.

Mr. Forman and Mr. Sharma had a two hour meeting that proved to be fruitful and helpful for the two sides. This meeting was the first to take place between the two ministers since Trade Representative Mike Froman was inducted into his current position.

Some of the biggest specific concerns that the United States Trade Representative raised was the increasing number and scope of a variety of localization barriers that India has propped up. Some of these barriers include in-country testing requirements for certain types of technology and blatantly unfair and unequal favor that is granted to domestic company’s intellectual property, specifically IP that is beneficial to Indian manufacturing.

The meeting between the two government officials seems to indicate that progress has been made in India for the protection of IP, but there is still great space for improvement. It will take time, but there does seem to be an indication that India is on the road to further reform for IP protection.

Source: Economic Times

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