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US Embassy in India to get IPR attache

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 26: The US Embassy in India will get an exclusive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) attache this summer as the two countries consider piracy to be the most serious threat after terrorism.

Top US attorney Dominic Keating from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will join the embassy shortly, US Embassy Charge d'affaires Robert O Blake announced in an India-US seminar on IPR enforcement on the 'World Intellectual Property Rights Day' today.

Mr Keating's job will be to work exclusively to further India and US cooperation on IPR, he added.

The US administration, which is engaging India on a regular dialogue to contain piracy worldwide, has offered the help of the FBI's Department of Justice and Customs Services.

The three-day seminar, the first-ever US initiative to work directly with the Indian government and industry to establish a ''world-class IPR regime'' in the country, will also be held in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata in the next three weeks.

According to Mr Blake, the lack of strong intellectual property protection in India is a hindrance to US investment in the country, both in introducing innovative products as well as research and development.

The importance of IPR protection was a key element in the joint statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting US President George Bush in March.

''By initiating strong patent, copyright, and trademark protection for all products produced through the ''intellectual process'', India will be well on the road to ensure it is a global player in innovative technology and enjoys a world-class services sector in the 21st century,'' Mr Blake said.

The seminar, jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US Embassy is attended by experts from both the countries.

Though India enacted a stringent Patent Act last year, its implementation is a worrying factor for the government and the pharmaceuticals, film, IT and music industries.

''Any law is only as good as the enforcement on the ground, creating public awareness is the key to enforcement,'' CII Task Force on IPR chairman and Ranbaxy Laboratories Director Ramesh Adige said.

Director and Registrar of Copyrights, Madhukar Sinha, who took photocopies of a chapter on micro-economics from a foreign book at the Ratan Tata Library of the Delhi School of Economics during his college days, said awareness was necessary specially among the judiciary and the police.


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