ICYMI: GIPC Testifies on Unfair Indian IP Policies

By Ashley Mergen

Today, the Global Intellectual Property Center’s Executive Vice President Mark Elliot joined other concerned industry representatives to highlight the growing problems of India’s intellectual property regime before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Specifically, Elliot focused on the inconsistency between pro-innovation rhetoric and anti-innovation IP policies adopted by the Indian government and courts:

“In 2010, the then-President of India declared the next 10 years to be India’s ‘Decade of Innovation.’ Unfortunately, recent events in India suggest otherwise. Particular policy, regulatory, and legal decisions have deteriorated IP rights in India, making India an outlier in the international community.”

Elliot also mentioned that India’s industrialist policy relying on patent denials and revocations is not a matter of access, but a means to boost exports at the expense of global innovators:

“In a report issued to their investors, a major pharmaceutical company called upon the Indian government to ‘announce a long term and unambiguous policy or guideline on compulsory license so that this important tool can be effectively used.’ This same company generates over 50 percent of its revenue from international markets. Clearly, some in India see compulsory licensing as a revenue generating-opportunity.”

But to assume this type of behavior is common to developing countries is a mistake. In the GIPC’s International IP Index which compares IP systems around the world, India ranks far below its BRIC counterparts.

“While some may claim that these are all unrelated policy, regulatory, and legal decisions, the fact remains that this is only happening in India. From the revocation of patents to the staggering rates of piracy, India stands alone as an international outlier by global IP standards.”

These trends are indeed “bad for India, bad for investment, and bad for international trade.” To read a the full, detailed testimony, please click here.


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