The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

India Bottoms Out on IP Protection

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


On January 29, 2014, the Global Intellectual Property Center released its second annual intellectual property index, rating how various countries around the world performed on protecting intellectual property (IP).

The points were awarded six categories:  Patents, Related Rights, and Limitations (7 points); Copyrights, Related Rights and Limitations (6 points); Trademarks, Related Rights, and limitations (5 points); Trade Secrets and Market Access (2 points); Enforcement (6 points); and, Membership and Ratification of International Treaties (4 points).

The United States topped the list of countries with the most protection for IP with a score of 28.52 out of 30, closely followed by Great Britain, France, and Singapore.  Yet, countries like Argentina, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and Vietnam all demonstrated poor performance in protecting IP.  Bottoming out on the list for the second year in a row is India, with a ranking of 6.95 out of 30. 

It is no wonder that India ranked at the bottom of the list again.  On December 29, 2013, The New York Times reported on the on-going struggle that drug manufacturers have protecting their patents in a country bent on forcing them to relinquish their formularies over to generic drug companies.  According to the article, India is one of the world’s leading producers of generic pharmaceuticals, and has already ruled invalid patents protecting exclusive sales of Novartis’ Gleevec, Pfizer’s Sutent and Roche’s Tarceva.  The Indian government agreed earlier that Bayer’s Nexavar patent was valid, but overrode the patent anyway because a generic drug company promised to lower the price of the treatment.

Other countries on the GIPC’s index are watching the situation in India closely to see what actions are taken by its trading partners in response to this situation.  It is important that the federal government continues to work with its trading partners, including India, to ensure that intellectual property is respected and protected. 

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