India remains on U.S. Priority Watch List-THE HINDU-30-04-2020

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While India made “meaningful progress” to enhance IP protection and enforcement in some areas, it did not resolve recent and long-standing challenges, and created new ones, the United States Trade Representative’s report said. India continues to be on the ‘Priority Watch List’ of the United States Trade Representative for lack of adequate intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, the USTR said in its Annual Special 301 Report, released on Wednesday.

India remained one of the most challenging economies for IP enforcement and protection, the report said, using language it has used previously. Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are also on the Priority Watch List.

While India made “meaningful progress” to enhance IP protection and enforcement in some areas over the past year, it did not resolve recent and long-standing challenges, and created new ones, the report said. “Despite India’s justifications of limiting IP protections as a way to promote access to technologies, India maintains extremely high customs duties directed to IP-intensive products such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, Information and Communications Technology products, solar energy equipment, and capital goods,” it said.

Online IP enforcement in India has improved, the report said, but progress is undercut by factors including weak enforcement by courts and the police, lack of familiarity with investigative techniques and no centralised IP enforcement agency.

The USTR also noted that India was ranked among the top five source economies for fake goods by the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation in 2019.

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