Special 301 Report: US puts India on Priority Watch list

The United States Trade Representative recently released the Special Report 301. According to the report, India has been put on the “Priority Watch List” along with eight other countries. Another twenty-three countries were also put on “Watch List”.

About 301 Report

The report is released annually by the United States Trade Representative. It is published under Section 301 of Trade Act of 1974 and hence the name. It is being published since 1989. The report basically lists the countries that do not provide sufficient IP rights to American companies.

What does the report say about India?

According to the report, India has been inconsistent in the progress of IP protection. Though the enforcement of IP has gradually improved, India lacks in providing benefits for innovators.

The patent issues are of great concern in India. The Indian Patent Law lacks patent validity and holds narrow patentability criteria. This burdens companies in different sectors. It leads to patent revocations. Revocation is official cancellation.

Patent applicants are facing issues with time consuming pre and post grant procedures. They face difficulties of long waiting periods to receive patent approval.

Stakeholders of India continue to express concerns over vagueness in the interpretation of Indian Patents Act.

Report about China

  • The US monitors China under the US-China Economic and Trade Agreement
  • According to the 301 report, China has made several IP-related regulatory measures in 2020.
  • It has amended the Patent laws, criminal laws related to IP and also copyright laws.
  • However, the amendments remain short of full range fundamental changes required to improve the overall IP landscape.




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