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India on US Priority Watch List again

01 May, 2006

WASHINGTON: The US has yet again placed India on the "Priority Watch List" under the Special 301 provisions of its trade law for what it regards as inadequate protection for copyrights, trademarks and patents of American products.

Twelve other countries, including China and Russia, also figure on the list released by US Trade Representative Rob Portman. The report acknowledges the improvements brought about by India in the intellectual property rights regime in the past year, but takes the stand that "protection concerns remain due to inadequate laws and ineffective enforcement".

It says piracy of copyrighted work remains rampant in the case of software, films, fiction works, textbooks and cable signals. The USTR wants India to join the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Internet Treaties. India’s enactment of a law in 2005 to provide for product patents for pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals was a positive step but "important omissions" in legislation detract from the patent regime, the report says. According to USTR, improvements are needed in border enforcement against counterfeit/pirated goods, police action and deterrent judicial sentences.

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