US lobbying for strong IPR regime in India

US lobbying for strong IPR regime in India

New Delhi: The US is “lobbying" for an intellectual property rights (IPR) regime in India that protects American patents, a senior official of the Obama Administration said on Tuesday.

Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit, the US Department of Commerce’s director general and assistant secretary, Suresh Kumar, is leading a 36-member strong delegation of small and medium enterprises in the field of renewable energy to India.

US cooperation in India’s renewable energy programme is one of the areas that may come up for discussion during Obama’s visit beginning on 6 November.

Kumar said every country should have a strong patent protection policy for encouraging innovation and research.

“... That is all we are lobbying to do here, to protect international property rights, to protect our patents," he said on the sidelines of a CII conference on small enterprises.

India, which is signatory to the WTO’s TRIPS agreement, has always maintained that it has a strong patent protection regime in place.

Kumar further said that economic engagement would remain the focus area of bilateral discussions during the US President’s visit.

“Trade and commerce are always going to be the centrepiece of this relationship and inevitably, we will have sessions around that," Kumar said.

The US is India’s third largest trading partner, with bilateral trade between the two countries amounting to USD 36.5 billion in 2009-10.

On the first day of his India visit, Obama is scheduled to address a ‘usiness and Entrepreneurship Summit’in Mumbai.

Enhanced high-technology cooperation is also expected to be on the agenda, with agreements in the aviation, space, defence and biotechnology spaces on the anvil.

On the outsourcing issue, Kumar said the US was the “world’s most open market", but added that, “Any outsourcing, insourcing is in the private sector domain and business people do what they feel is right for them economically and commercially."