Fresh offensive

Published: Tuesday 15 October 1996

even as India is preparing for a showdown with the us on the issue of intellectual property rights, the European Union ( eu ) fired another salvo by joining forces with the us . Both are pressurising India to change its Patent Act (1978) in conformity with its World Trade Organization ( wto ) obligations. " eu has decided to join the wto consultations with India on implementation of the trade-related intellectual property rights ( trip s) agreement by India, said G Martin Prada, counsellor at the delegation of European Commission in India.

The wto agreement permits a member country to formally ask for consultations with another member to seek resolution in case of a dispute. In May this year, the us had called for consultations with India under the wto dispute settlement procedures, claiming that it had not fulfilled its trip s obligations. India was expected to change its patent laws with effect from January 1, 1995. The eu intends to fund a programme for the modernisation of the Indian patent and trademark offices. The proposed amendments to the Indian Patent Act are likely to be discussed in the winter session of parliament.

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