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Odisha Resolution 1 (E)

The US Threat on IPR, a mere Hoax

Intellectual Property Rights have been occupying an important space in the global economy driven by knowledge and especially after signing of the TRIPS agreement under the WTO regime since 1995. It has become an area of major concern to United States and European Union as almost 35% of the GDP of USA and 39% of GDP of European Union depends and is derived from IP intensive industries. Therefore, there is a continuous pressure from the western world for tempering with the domestic IPR policies of the developing countries including India. The issue of IPR has become more sensitive in recent days as Government of India is already engaged in drafting its IPR policy under a think tank which is functioning under the shadow of the joint working group with USA and is being influenced by the threats from United States about economic sanctions under the dictates of big pharma companies for making changes in the existing patent laws of India, especially with reference to 3-4 major areas as below:

1. Section 3(d) of the Patent Act, 1970 whereby the frivolous invention of Novartis, Switzerland was denied patent and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India upheld the validity of this provision which is in full compliance of the TRIPS Agreement.

2. Provisions of compulsory licensing, especially in view of grant of permission to NATCO for manufacturing of the cancer drug which was being sold by BAYER of Germany at exorbitant prices.

3. The illegitimate demand for data exclusivity on pharmaceuticals whereby the Drug Regulatory Authority of India be prohibited to disclose the trial results to the Indian generic companies, which is in terms of article 39.3 of the TRIPS Agreement for fair use on public health and humanitarian grounds.

In addition to above issues, the Government of India should not compromise on any other existing provisions of Indian Patent Act including on pre-grant opposition. On the other hand, Government of India should demand a complete review of the several draconian provisions of the existing TRIPS Agreement and renegotiate the same at all appropriate forums of WTO including for easy availability of new technology on environment and other important areas.

We should also demand extension of the protection for geographical indications to products beyond wines and spirits, especially for Darjeeling tea, basmati rice textile goods and several other agricultural products which have its origin in India.

We should also demand protection to our biodiversity, traditional knowledge and folklore by way of implementation of existing Doha agenda without succumbing to the pressure for including a new agenda in the discussion.

Government of India should lay priority for innovation and creativity by increase in the expenditure on research and development with due respect and rewards to the scientists and artists of this country and thereby establish a robust IP Ecosystem in India based on Swadeshi Ideology.

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