US targets India on 'intellectual property rights'

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Washington, Apr 26 (UNI) India is among the nine countries which figures on the ''Priority Watch List'' of the US Trade Representatives (USTR) for not providing an ''adequate level of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection or enforcement or market access.'' The USTR annual report, released yesterday, says that these countries will be subject to ''Particularly intense engagement through bilateral discussions during the coming years.'' The USTR offers to work with India on these issues during the coming year through the Trade Policy Forum and other bilateral mechanisms.

Besides India, the other eight countries on the ''Priority Watch List'' are: China, Russia, Argentina , Chile , Israel , Pakistan , Thailand and Venezuela.

In India's case, the USTR complains against piracy and trademark counterfeiting, including that of pharmaceuticals and distilled spirits and wants the country to improve its IPR regime, providing stronger protection for copyrights, trademarks and patents as well as protection against unfair commercial use of undisclosed test and other data generated to obtain marketing approval for pharmaceutical products.

The USTR reports also complains against India's weak criminal IPR enforcement regime and calls for improvements in the areas of police action against pirates and counterfeiters, expeditious judicial dispositions for copyright and trademark infringement with imposition of deterrent-level sentences for IPR infringers and stronger border enforcement against counterfeit and pirated goods.

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