The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in its special 301 report released in April, 2014 had announced that it would initiate an Out -of- Cycle Review (OCR) of India in the fall of 2014 to improve IP protection and enforcement in India.
Accordingly the OCR commenced in October, 2014 and recently Indian stakeholders submitted their comments. Interestingly, most of the stakeholders have opined that India’s IP regime is in full conformity with standards laid down in TRIPS and is also effective, balanced and in consonance with national priorities and needs thus refuting the charges levelled by USTR in its special 301 report on India’s IPR regime.
In fact, FICCI, the largest industry association in India, has even said that OCR is a futile exercise in view of the already constituted annual high-level Intellectual Property Working Group as part of Trade Policy Review between India and USA.
While FICCI’s response unequivocally states that India’s IPR framework is within the mandates of international paradigm, it also highlights the initiatives undertaken by the Government to further improve and upgrade the innovation environment in the country.
FICCI has also submitted that both the provisions of compulsory licensing and section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970, major areas of concerns in the USTR Report, are TRIPS compliant.