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India off USTR’s OCR hook … for now

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2015 Special 301 Review to be next test of India’s IP laws

In a statement issued recently, the Office of the US Trade Representative (US TR) closed the Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of India indicating that it had noted the steps taken by India on the IP front.

But the US TR kept up the pressure, with the statement mentioning that a thorough review of India’s environment for IP protection and enforcement, including progress made on recent IP-related commitments and on engagement through the agreed work plan, would be reviewed as part of the 2015 Special 301 Review.

After the 2014 Special 301 Report was published in April 2014, the USTR decided to adopt a ‘wait and watch’ policy, to observe and engage with the new government taking charge. Against this backdrop, the US TR decided to initiated an OCR of India in the fall of 2014 ‘to evaluate progress toward achieving meaningful, sustained and effective engagement on IP issues with India’.

USTR’s December 12 statement referred to the ‘multiple engagements with Government of India officials at the staff and senior levels on the broad range of issues of concern to the US and to US stakeholders’. It also conceded that India has made useful commitments in recent months including steps to institutionalise high-level engagement on IP issues, pursue a specific work programme and deepen cooperation and information exchange with the US on IP-related issues under the US-India Trade Policy Forum. While it noted these steps, it urged India to further strengthen and deepen bilateral engagement on IP issues in the coming months and
beyond.

EP News BureauMumbai

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