Exploring the India-US Intellectual Property Dialogue: A Comprehensive Guide to Intellectual Property - Seeker's Thoughts

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Exploring the India-US Intellectual Property Dialogue: A Comprehensive Guide to Intellectual Property

Exploring the India-US Intellectual Property Dialogue: A Comprehensive Guidance

As India emerges as an economic power and leader in the knowledge economy, its businesses require a reliable legal framework to protect their intellectual property - yet counterfeiting remains a significant threat, and awareness regarding IP issues remains low.

Indian Government has taken significant steps to strengthen its legal framework for IPR protection and has established dedicated IP courts; however, additional improvements are still necessary.


Patents are legal rights granted to inventors to protect their inventions from being copied by other parties and they play an essential role in encouraging innovation and technological progress. In 2021, the United States and India launched a joint dialogue on IP policy between themselves that will alternate annually between New Delhi and Washington DC as a way of deepening strategic cooperation between their IP policies. This forum will meet annually at either New Delhi or Washington DC depending on which city hosts it each time.

This dialogue aims to build stronger understanding between both countries regarding uniform IP frameworks and collaboratively devising solutions, while raising awareness of how effective IP enforcement promotes global prosperity and economic security.

However, despite recent progress between India and the U.S. regarding IP protection and enforcement, both countries still face some key hurdles in developing stronger IP policies and enforcement mechanisms. For instance, India's limits on pharmaceutical patent approval, convoluted process for challenging patents, counterfeiting/piracy instances as well as counterfeit drugs have raised serious concern among U.S. Chamber of Commerce members as well as pharmaceutical industry representatives about India's IP policies.

As globalization accelerates and economies expand, strong IP regimes in key trading partners is a top priority of US trade diplomacy. This includes helping developing nations reduce intellectual property infringement to promote flow of high-quality technology and goods across borders while protecting against theft of IP by criminals or terrorist organizations.

US is happy to support India and other countries' efforts in improving their IP legal systems and strengthening enforcement against criminals and terrorist groups who steal IP in order to fund attacks against us. In particular, we will continue our support of efforts made by developing nations like India to establish legal frameworks that encourage innovation, provide equal access to patent information and enable timely resolution of patent disputes.

The US and India are working together to foster an innovation ecosystem by implementing the National IPR Action Plan, the IPR Action Agenda, and an IP-intensive sector dialogue. We will assist India's implementation of WTO TRIPS Agreement by using our expertise in IP policy, enforcement and technical assistance to fill any gaps that exist.


As their name implies, trademarks serve to distinguish and identify goods or services from the products and services of others. Trademarks are legally enforceable and confer rights for a set period - typically 10-20 years - of using that mark commercially.

Indian trademark system comprises two registers, including the Indian Trademark Registry and State Registration Offices, each responsible for reviewing and registering applications; with both registers accessible online allowing foreign applicants to submit applications as well as track progress of applications from various stages in the application process.

As part of its commitment to attract foreign investment, India has prioritized improving its patents and trademarks systems since independence. Today, the country boasts a national intellectual property rights (IPR) policy designed to streamline processes, raise awareness, and foster commercialization; yet India lags behind other major world economies when it comes to enforcement of IP rights - it remains on USTR's priority watch list while making only gradual strides forward on long-running issues like patent quality, generic pharmaceutical names usage, or protection of geographic indications.

At their meeting, both leaders welcomed efforts to bolster bilateral collaboration in health and innovation. They called for continued engagement between India and the U.S. on urgent issues related to preventable child and maternal deaths, vaccine development, reducing infectious disease spread, improving affordable healthcare delivery systems and expanding the India-U.S. Health Initiative into an inclusive bilateral dialogue on various health sectors.

The leaders noted that a soon-to-be completed joint initiative between their countries' centers for disease control and prevention would greatly advance global public health, foster bilateral research cooperation on infectious diseases, and open doors for U.S. companies engaging in technology transfer and licensing in India. They welcomed an MoU between their centers that facilitates exchanges of personnel to enable collaboration on drug discovery, clinical trials, biotechnology start-up incubatorship programs and biotechnology start-up incubatorship projects.


Intellectual property typically refers to patents, trademarks and copyrights - however there exists an entire body of law outside these four basic areas. When it comes to safeguarding your creative works, finding an expert IP law firm in India can make all of the difference. While legalese can often seem complicated and daunting, experienced IP law firms may offer answers that surprise and inspire. Example: A new lock mechanism could be protected through patent, design, trade mark and copyright registrations to safeguard it against being copied without authorisation. All four forms of intellectual property rights could be used together to cover this one item.

Registering intellectual property ideas can be done via the Office of the Controller General for Patents, Designs and Trade Marks in India's Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Registration can take anywhere from seven months to one year depending on factors like country of filing and number of objections filed against it.

Trade Secrets

Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman both stressed the significance of IP protections as essential building blocks in maintaining healthy bilateral trade relationships. They welcomed increased Indian exports of mangoes and pomegranates to the United States in 2016, and agreed to explore opportunities for enhanced market access on identified agricultural products. India was also applauded for committing to developing and introducing a system for recording trademarks, designs, copyrights, and geographical indications with customs authorities. Recordation systems will enable rights holders to take swift legal action when counterfeits appear in their supply chains, helping to decrease IP theft risk while upholding legitimate businesses that depend on strong IPR regimes.

They urged India's Government to pursue efforts to decrease patent pendency and strengthen its IP legal framework, including by creating dedicated IP benches in high courts and implementing its National IPR Policy. They appreciated India's consideration of diverse viewpoints when formulating its IPR Policy as they call for an open notice-and-comment process in order to properly implement and evaluate it.

Pharmaceutical sector stakeholders urged the Indian government to clarify how Section 3(d) of their Patents Act is implemented so as not to hinder innovation that would enhance medicines for Indian patients. Food and agrichemical companies pointed out that India's rules require annual information submission on commercial activities for all patents in force in the country, creating undue burdens on rights holders as well as potential breaches in confidentiality; they lauded recent revisions to Form 27 that helped mitigate some risks while emphasizing further improvement efforts in this regard.

They acknowledged the need for science- and risk-based regulations and procedures consistent with international standards such as those set forth by Codex Alimentarius, World Organization for Animal Health and International Plant Protection Convention. Furthermore, they underlined cooperation on food safety issues to protect mutually beneficial trade between food and agriculture sectors without jeopardizing food safety altogether. Furthermore, they called for increased engagement through technical dialogues or other forums to foster further dialogue on food safety matters.