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India – The Outlier on Intellectual Property
By Miti Sathe
With one of the globe’s largest economies, India is leading the way in a variety of industries. From software to biotech to textiles, India boasts an array of successful, growing businesses that provide a model for other developing nations. Unfortunately, the only thing standing in India’s path as a leader in innovation is India itself. When it comes to intellectual property (IP) protection, India comes in last.
Today, the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee is holding a hearing to discuss the growing trade relationship between the United States and India and the dramatic economic growth that India has experienced over the last few decades. While India’s economic ascent has been nothing short of miraculous, it is imperative that India take into account the importance of ensuring adequate IP rights as they consider expanding their trade and investment relationships globally.
Much of India’s success has been a product of increased domestic and foreign investment. However, due to inadequate protections for IP, many businesses investing capital in India face serious challenges that undermine the companies’ ability to compete and succeed in this vital market. While insufficient enactment of enforcement of IP rights dissuades foreign investment, the instability of India’s IP system also limits growth and opportunities for India’s domestic creative and innovative industries.
Last year, the U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) released an International IP Index (GIPC Index), Measuring Momentum. The Index set out to create an IP roadmap for key countries around the world to assess their IP systems in order to accelerate economic growth, create jobs, and improve foreign investment.
Out of the 11 countries surveyed, where did India fall? India came in last.
India has proven to be an open and innovative economy. Stronger protection of IP throughout India will benefit India’s citizens with greater choices and creative industries with an array of opportunities. Imagine the economic growth that could occur and the new innovative technologies that could be discovered if India had sufficient IP protections in place.
We hope today’s hearing will highlight the challenges that industries across the board face when dealing with the IP regime in India, and we look forward to addressing these challenges with both the U.S. Government and the Indian Government.