India, US ink MoU to cooperate on IP examination and safety

Washington, December 3

India and the US have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to co-operate on intellectual property examination and protection for the next 10 years and to strengthen the IP systems in both countries.

The MoU was signed between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), represented by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Andrei Iancu, and Secretary from India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Guruprasad Mohapatra, during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

The memorandum will strengthen the intellectual property (IP) systems of both countries, enabling further innovation and growth, said Iancu.

An earlier MoU between India and the US expired nine years ago.

“It (the latest agreement) will help tie our nations even closer, and it will fortify our commitment to the IP rights of all of our citizens, and the many hundreds of companies that operate in both our markets,” he said.

The present agreement covers for the next 10 years, describing a range of cooperative activities pertaining to securing, using, and enforcing IP rights in the areas of patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, and industrial designs.

“We meet today during a challenging period in human history. Yet, we are witnessing incredible advances made in science, technology, innovation, and manufacturing that will soon deliver a vaccine to billions of people in record time. The IP protections we provide have created the foundation of the industries needed to develop solutions to all of our global challenges, including, and especially, the pandemic. All of which highlights the importance of our MoU,” Iancu said.

Iancu, who also serves as Director of USPTO, said the new MoU envisions work on two paths — substantive, and administrative.

“Within the substantive pathway, we will jointly build capacity in the full range of intellectual property disciplines, including patents, trademarks, copyright, and geographical indications. On the administrative side, we’ll exchange ideas and share experiences on how to manage the operations of our national IP offices, including the use of tools that can enhance our efficiency and productivity,” Iancu said.

Iancu said India and the US were the world’s largest and oldest democracies and had an enduring alliance, and deepening commercial and cultural ties.

Last year, total trade between the two countries was $146 billion.

“Innovation backed by our intellectual property systems in both countries has played a critically important part in this remarkable growth. Indeed, our countries’ respective patent systems date back a very long time. American and Indian inventors and entrepreneurs, often working together in both of our countries, have made huge advances in science and technology, and have improved the human condition all around,” he said. PTI

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