ICYMI: Business and Congressional Leaders Urge Administration to Address Unfair Indian IP Actions

By Ashley Mergen

If the last few weeks are any indication, concern over Indian intellectual property (IP) and trade practices are reaching a crescendo. Just ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip, over 200 Members of the House and Senate along with a dozen-plus industry associations are pressing the Administration to address the increasingly deteriorating IP conditions in India.

Here’s a round-up of concerns:

June 20 – Senators Portman, Menendez, and 38 other Senators Letter to Secretary Kerry:

“We are very concerned that India’s recent actions to force the local production of certain information technology and clean energy equipment and to deny, break, or revoke patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications risk undermining our broader relationship.”

June 20- U.S. House Committee of Ways and Means Letter to President Obama:

“As 40 million U.S. workers are employed directly or indirectly in IP-intensive industries, India’s policies also have a very real, negative impact on jobs and investment in the United States. As the SD [Strategic Dialogue], we urge the Administration to communicate the detrimental effects of the policies and convey that high standards of IP protection are essential if India is to become and innovation economy.”

June 18- Representatives Paulsen, Larson, and 167 U.S. Congressmen to President Obama:

“U.S. companies have suffered from a whole host of IP issues in areas including information technology, renewable energy, and biopharmaceuticals… these actions by the Indian Government greatly concern us because innovation and the protection of intellectual property are significant driving engines of the U.S. economy.”

June 14- Senators Baucus and Hatch Letter to Secretary Kerry:

“India is ignoring evidence from its own recent positive economic experience and is lapsing once again into protectionism.  We cannot afford to sit back and watch as India adopts policies that adversely impact U.S. innovative and creative industries, and threaten the greater stability of the international trading system.”

June 6- Multi-Industry Letter to President Obama:

“These actions and others constitute a disturbing trend that may continue and even expand to other products, sectors, and countries. Already there are indications that other countries are considering similar measures. Such actions are completely at odds with recognized global norms and raise troubling questions about India’s compliance with its international obligations to protect ideas, brands, and inventions and to treat imported goods no less favorably than domestic products.”

We hope the Administration will prioritize this bicameral, bipartisan, and multi-industry call for action during Secretary Kerry’s trip to India next week.

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