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US Euro Clubs hobble Third Wold


Rich nations are using every forum available to step up intellectual property curbs on developing country exports. India needs to wake up.

…  if a group of developed countries and their rights holders are successful in pushing through a clever initiative at the World Customs Organization (WCO) to lay down global norms and model laws for heightened protection of IP rights. Unsurprisingly, the majority of developing countries have been caught off guard by the move to push SECURE (Standards to be Employed by Customs for Uniform Rights Enforcement) … (as) they did not expect WCO to be looking at IP issues … SECURE was not a member-driven initiative but put together by the secretariat of the 174-member organisation based in Brussels. SECURE, says the WCO, will be a set of standards, procedures, and best practices to coordinate the “global effort to suppress all kind of IP rights infringements”. (via Latha Jishnu: Policy of encirclement).

This article goes onto mention how

1. That ‘rights holders are not obliged to provide adequate evidence to show that there is prima facie an infringement to initiate action.

2. Brazil, as usual, has been the rare developing country to be alert to the dangers posed by SECURE, and is the only one actively taking part in the SECURE working group discussions … Brazil along with Argentina, China, Cuba, Ecuador, and Uruguay has sent a report highly critical of the SECURE draft and also that it “departs from the member-driven nature that should guide the process.”

3. India is once again missing in action. Bureaucratic and political apathy have been characteristic of India’s approach to critical trade negotiations.

4. … more than a dozen initiatives by the US, EU and OECD which shift forums both horizontally and vertically to achieve their goals. Since voluntary agencies and developing countries are active in the WTO, WIPO, and WHO, these are no longer the arena for IP maximalists, she says.

Acquisitive Indian Companies

Acquisitive Indian companies making US nervous?

Three things…

First, many of the regulatory bodies are actually a US-Euro Club – to fool the world, with token actions and steps to demonstrate inclusion and fairness of the developing world.

And second, these token actions divert the attention of the developing world. For instance, World Bank list of banned entities were significantly, from two sectors – Software and Pharma. These are the two sectors where the US still has a lead – and the Indians are its biggest challengers. Generic pharma firms from Indiahave become world beaters – and the Indian software companies have built up US$50 billion a year business, in less than 10 years. These 50 billion dollars have come out of US pockets.

Indias pharma exports

India's pharma exports

At least, the actions against Wipro and Nestor Pharma were pathetic excuses to ban a business – and no third party arbiter will uphold these actions.

Third, on January 9, Standard & Poor’s announced that Greece, Spain and Ireland were on review for a possible downgrade, indicating that a Eurozone country could default.

The cost of the US bailout is likely to exceed US$3 trillion. Current US budget deficit

Not so long ago …

In 1999, an employee of an auto-components manufacturer, Autolite, was arrested in France for trademarks and copyright infringement – based on a complaint by the car manufacturer PSA Puegeot Citroen. The French police, on similar complaints, arrested two other nationals, a Belgian and a Taiwanese woman also.

The Belgian was of course granted bail – and the Indian and the Taiwanese were denied bail ‘The lawyers representing the Indian businessman offerred to deposit his passport and the sum of 100,000 French Francs claimed by Peugeot in the custody of the court as bailbond, pending the trial of the case on November 12′.

French court procedures took nearly 1 month and the Indian executive was finally granted bail after being in prison for 1 month. After two years of appeals and expensive litigation, the complaint was found to be without any merit – and dismissed.

More recently …

A shipment of medicines destined for Brazil, from India, was detained at Rotterdam. The Dutch Customs used a complaint from a local Dutch company, to detain this shipment, based on local patent laws. After a few months of ‘negotiations’, the shipment was sent back to India. An expert writes, how

‘EU is doing is using Council Regulation (EC) No. 1383/2003 to impound drugs that are suspected of violating patents registered in member-countries even if these are simply in transit. The regulations permit customs to hold these goods for a minimum of 10 working days while informing the patent holder of the seizure. The patent holder then applies to a civil court to initiate legal proceedings in order to prove that infringement has taken place.’

Whats the Quicktake

These actions seem like offensive actions from the EU and the US – to undermine their competitors and to bolster Euro-US businesses. It makes me doubt the Satyam saga. To carry the conspiracy theory thread forward, was there a Merrill Lynch-Ramlinga Raju ‘deal’?

Modern day protectionism, huh?

This also furthers the importance of having non-Western bodies, which are sponsored by the Third World, which will regulate and govern international laws. To depend on the West, is to further dig the hole that the Third World finds itself in.

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  1. June 7, 2009 at 6:43 am

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