USTR launched Out of Cycle Review for India

USTR has today launched an Out-of-Cycle Review for India, per this year’s Special 301 Report. USTR is accepting public comments until October 31st. (Interesting to note that it is only a two week window. For the last Review it was 3 weeks for public comments.)

Read the announcement here

In the 2014 Special 301 Report, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that, in order to assess progress on engagement with the Government of India on intellectual property rights (IPR) issues, an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) would be conducted for India. USTR requests written submissions from the public concerning information, views, acts, policies, or practices relevant to evaluating the Government of India’s engagement on IPR issues of concern, in particular those identified in the 2014 Special 301 Report. The 2014 Special 301 Report is available at


Friday, October 31, 2014—Deadline for the public, except foreign governments, to submit written comments.
Friday, November 7, 2014—Deadline for foreign governments to submit written comments.

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Statement by India on Non-Violation and Situation complaints in TRIPS Council meeting

October 2014

India would like to thank the chair for initiating the discussion on non-violation and other situation complaints under the TRIPS Agreement today. India associates itself with the statements made by Venezuela and Brazil which raise fundamental concerns on the applicability of non-violation complaints under the TRIPS Agreement.

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A very interesting article in Huffington Post about US pressure vis-a-vis India’s patent regime

Obama Has Been Fighting Doctors Without Borders For Years

Source: Huffington Post

30 Oct 2014


For years, President Barack Obama and his administration have been fighting Doctors Without Borders over drug costs. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images) | Darren Hauck via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — It’s a little unusual to see the Obama administration singing the praises of Doctors Without Borders, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning nonprofit that is shipping doctors, drugs and supplies to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak.

When President Barack Obama lauded the “incredible heroism” of American doctors who travel to countries such as Sierra Leone to do “God’s work” and “keep us safe,” on Tuesday, he was celebrating a community packed with Doctors Without Borders volunteers. United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power has been more explicit, using the acronym for the international group’s French name, Medicines Sans Frontiers, in speeches and on Twitter.

“MSF … are already leading the charge,” Power told the U.N. Security Council in September, before conveying the harrowing story of one MSF staffer’s experience fighting Ebola in Monrovia.

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Posted in access to medicines, Drug Pricing, Indian Patent Law, IP Rights, patent, US pressure on India | Leave a comment

Cipla asks government to revoke five patents held by Novartis

Source: Economic Times

30 Oct 2014

Cipla, India’s fifthlargest drugmaker by revenue, has asked the government to revoke five patents that Novartis holds on respiratory drug Onbrez.

Cipla, India’s fifth largest drugmaker by revenue, has asked the government to revoke five patents that Novartis holds on respiratory drug Onbrez.

NEW DELHI: Cipla, India’s fifthlargest drugmaker by revenue, has asked the government to revoke five patents that Novartis holds on respiratory drug Onbrez and launched its generic version of indacaterol at a fifth of the price, triggering another confrontation between an Indian generic company and a foreign innovator firm. The domestic drugmaker asked the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion to cancel the patents on the ground that the Swiss company has held them for six years without making the medicine locally or importing it in the quantity that’s required.

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From think tank to trade reports – IP on the boil, again

Source: Business Line

Close to 10 years after the Indian Patents Act was amended in January 2005, discussions around intellectual property are on the boil again.

Last week, the Government set up a think tank to draft a national policy on intellectual property rights (IPR), and have a coordinated IP approach across various Government departments. Continue reading

Posted in access to medicines, FDI, Intellectual Property, IP Rights, IPR policy, Out of Cycle Review (OCR), patent, Sec 3 (d), US pressure on India, USTR 301 report | Tagged | Leave a comment

Govt sets up think-tank to fine-tune IPR policy

Source: Business Line


The Government has constituted an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) think-tank to help draft a new National IPR Policy and to advice it on issues related to intellectual property.

The think-tank, headed by Justice Prabha Sridevan, will highlight anomalies in the present IPR legislations and advice the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on possible solutions, according to an official release. Continue reading

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Modi’s chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had opposed India on IPR till recently

Source: Times of India

NEW DELHI: The man who has been appointed the chief economic adviser to the government of India, Arvind Subramanian, was until recently urging the US to initiate disputes against India before the World Trade Organization.

He also sought changes in provisions within Indian patent law aimed at preventing frivolous patenting and preventing pharmaceutical companies from getting extensions on patents by tweaking existing drugs and passing them off as innovations. Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property, Out of Cycle Review (OCR), patent, Patent Term Extension, Right to Health, Sec 3 (d), Special 301 report, TRIPS, US pressure on India, WTO | Tagged | Leave a comment

US pharma gets a booster shot

Source: Business Line

Code red Equal access to affordable healthcare is at risk MEENA AHLAWAT

Thanks to the India-US Intellectual Property Working Group. Here’s how — and why this is bad news for India’s poor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first official visit to the US included several meetings with industry representatives and a meeting with President Barack Obama. In the US-India joint statement that was issued on September 30, a brief passage under “Economic Growth” stated that the leaders had “committed to establish an annual high-level Intellectual Property Working Group with appropriate decision-making and technical-level meetings”. Continue reading

Posted in access to medicines, BRICS, Compulsory Licensing, Drug Pricing, FDI, Generic drug, Intellectual Property, IP Rights, IPR policy, Patent examination system, Patent Term Extension, R&D, US pressure on India, USTR 301 report, WTO | Tagged , , | Leave a comment