Commentary Type

US-India Intellectual Property Rights Issues: Comment on USTR Special 301 Review

Written submission for the "2014 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries Under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974: Request for Public Comment and Announcement of Public Hearing"


The United States Trade Representative (USTR) should not designate India as a country with inadequate protections for intellectual property (IP) rights in its upcoming Special 301 Report. Doing so would spark adverse reactions in India and around the world and raise questions about US economic diplomacy. Not all Indian IP-related actions have been protectionist. India has also provided due process for foreigners on par with that of advanced democracies. The United States should pursue a less confrontational approach to this issue, possibly by initiating disputes through the World Trade Organization (WTO). India would be more likely to change problematic aspects of its IP legislation pursuant to WTO rulings than in response to US pressures.

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