USA seems to be making extensive efforts to ensure that India’s IPR regime duly addresses its concerns. While the US Trade Representative (USTR) has already launched the out-of-cycle-reviews (OCR) to assess progress on engagement with Government of India on IPR issues, US has also decided to pursue the issue bilaterally through the high-level Intellectual Property Working Group constituted under the India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF).
The TPF which is the premier bilateral forum for discussion and resolution of trade and investment issues between the two countries focusses on five core areas: Agriculture,Investment, Innovation and Creativity, Services, Tariff and Non-Tariff barriers. The TPF, to be held in Delhi later this month, is expected to deepen trade and investment ties between the two countries. The forum provides a significant opportunity for cooperation between the two countries on key IPR issues.
USTR Michael Froman is expected to visit India to attend the forum. He will lead the American delegation and co-chair the forum along with Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of state for commerce and industry. India has maintained that while it will not cooperate with the US in OCR, it will engage bilaterally to resolve key IPR issues.
Previously, the Office of USTR had placed India on the ‘Priority Watch List’ in its annual Special 301 Report and expressed concerns over India’s weak IPR protection and enforcement regime.