New Initiatives Show India Means Business on IPR

Counterfeiting and piracy is proving to be a global economic menace, with no signs of slowing down. In fact, a recent study expects the costs of IP theft worldwide to double from $1.65 trillion in just 3 short years. This illicit trade hurts the industries, consumers, and economies of developing and developed nations alike, making it more important than ever to take meaningful steps forward in intellectual property rights, enforcement, and education.

Recognizing this, India—a prominent source of counterfeit goods such as tobacco and pharmaceuticals—has recently been the subject of two major efforts to crack down on fakes that are inherently undermining its economy.

The first effort by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, in conjunction with pharmaceutical companies, is a plan to cut down on fake drugs by hiring approximately 100 inspectors to check spurious medicines. According to a World Health Organization report, almost 20% of medicines sold in India are fake.

The second effort is the formation of a committee by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to combat smuggling and counterfeiting activities. FICCI is planning to organize a series of initiatives that will help customers distinguish between a branded and a counterfeit product.

These efforts are a huge step forward for the Indian economy and the safety of consumers. According to a report by India Forensic Research Foundation the cost annually to the economy hits nearly $5billion annually with counterfeit books amounting to $38 million, movies $959 million, billion, music $17.7 million, auto parts $1.15, and software $2.7 billion.

The GIPC commends the on-going efforts in India and looks forward to working with these organizations in order to promote strong intellectual property protections, which are necessary for fostering economic development and public safety.

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