We the undersigned organizations and individuals are writing this letter to urge you to reject the pressure tactics of the United States (US) administration against India and to resist and challenge such US unilateral threats at multilateral forum.
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently announced that it would not seek sanctions against Ukraine following its designation as a Priority Foreign Country in the Special 301 process last year. The notice states that the USTR sticks by its finding that “certain intellectual property rights (IPR) acts, policies, and practices of Ukraine are unreasonable and burden or restrict United States commerce and are thus actionable under section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act).” But it is not taking action “[i]n light of the current political situation in Ukraine.” There is another reason USTR is not taking any action – sanctioning Ukraine or any other World Trade Organization member under Special 301 would violate the WTO.
We thank and appreciate the interest of the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in allowing us to participate in the Special 301 hearing. We remain hopeful that our impartial, expert contribution to the process will assist the USTR’s efforts in assessing the legality of India’s intellectual property protections under binding international law and determining whether it is being deployed in an illegal protectionist manner against U.S. right holders.
[Reposted from Karisma.org.co, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] Como cada año la USTR (Oficina de Comercio del Gobierno de EE.UU) elabora su Informe Especial 301 que es simplemente una lista negra de los países piratas que ha sido ampliamente criticada como ilegítima pues es unilateral (desconoce los canales internacionales acordados en la Organización Mundial de Comercio para resolver conflictos de este tipo), resulta una afrenta a la soberanía de los países y en todo caso es el resultado de un procedimiento arbitrario.
[Brook Baker and Matt Kavanagh] Health GAP submits these comments in response to written and oral submissions made by PhRMA and other trade associations attacking India’s intellectual property regime, particularly its issuance of a compulsory license on a Bayer cancer medicine and the adoption of section 3(d) to the Indian Amended Patents Act and its Supreme Court decision thereunder denying a patent on a Novartis medicine. The referenced submissions by opponents to the India IP regime can be found at http://www.keionline.org/ustr/Special301.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently investigating “Indian industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. imports… and the effect those barriers have on the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs.” The investigation was requested by Sen. Hatch, Sen. Baucus, Rep. Camp, and Rep. Levin, and the final report is due to be released in November. Last week it held a series of hearings, where it heard from U.S. business, Indian business, and civil society representatives.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation of Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy held its second and third hearing on Friday, February 14. This blog contains notes on the third hearing, which was focused on IP and pharmaceuticals. Witnesses from PhRMA, Sonecon, Bayer, Knowledge Ecology International, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Public Citizen testified. Notes on the ITC investigation’s first panel are here, and notes on the second panel are here. Videos of the hearings have been posted here by Knowledge Ecology International.
The U.S. International Trade Commission’s investigation of Trade, Investment, and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy held its second and third hearing on Friday, February 14. This blog contains notes on the parts of the second hearing related to intellectual property. Notes on the first are here, and notes on the third are here. Videos of the hearings have been posted here by Knowledge Ecology International.
Pallavi Shroff from the Confederation of Indian Industry opened her testimony describing strong growth of the overall Indian economy, of U.S. exports to India, and of American Drug companies’ market share.
Last August, Sen. Baucus, Sen. Hatch, Rep. Camp and Rep Levin requested that the Commission provide a report on “Indian industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. imports and investment for the sake of supporting Indian domestic industries.” The report, due November 2014, is supposed to address a series of questions, which include the effect of intellectual property policies.
Last Friday, an interagency committee led by the U.S. Trade Representative received comments for the 2014 Special 301 Review. This annual review is a process in which it identifies countries that allegedly “deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.” As part of the review, comments are accepted from the general public, and they have now been posted online. The next step of the review will be a public hearing on February 24. There will be private consultations with other stakeholders and government officials, and a final report will be issued “on or about April 30.”
This morning, Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke about international intellectual property issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He was the keynote at the organization’s launch of the second edition of its Global Intellectual Property Index. A video of the event is here, and Sen. Hatch takes the podium at 9:45.
Sen. Hatch argued that American history has shown strong intellectual property (IP) leads to prosperity. Research has shown that increased IP leads all countries to enjoy greater foreign direct investment, technology transfer and innovation. However, the “lesson is lost” in the developing world where countries try to develop through “short cuts” that “undermine” and “steal” U.S. innovation. India is the biggest battlefront, and Indian compulsory licenses based on nonworking are a big problem. Hatch warned that nothing in India’s patent laws limit compulsory licenses to pharmaceuticals, and he warned that other fields of technology such as cell phones or jets could be subject to compulsory licenses too.
Yesterday, the Cato Institute hosted a panel on the Investor-State dispute brought by Eli Lilly against Canada under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The panel featured Mark Schultz from the Southern Illinois University School of Law, Burcu Kilic from Public Citizen, and Christopher Sands from the Hudson Institute. The trade dispute surrounds a Canadian court case in which Eli Lilly’s patent for Strattera was found to be invalid because it did not met the Canadian utility standards. The company alleges that the utility standards applied by the court – which require the patent applicant to demonstrate ‘promised utility’ at the time of filing – amount to an “unlawful expropriation of Claimant’s investments.”