Thursday, July 14, 2011

EU India FTA, Data Exclusivity And Foreign Direct Investment

European Union (EU) is actively working in the direction of strengthening the regional and international intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection for its member States. Working in this direction, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has recently held a two day meeting to increase IPRs awareness throughout the Europe.

Similarly, EU and India would also sign a letter of understanding which will ensure that EU countries would not seize Indian medicines passing through Europe on the ground of violation of IPRs.

These are positive developments despite some initial hiccups like EU decision to withdraw the generalised system of preferences (GSP) scheme where India was on the receiving end, says Geeta Dalal, partner at Perry4Law a New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm. Now Indian government has made it clear that the “data exclusivity” provision would not form part of the proposed EU India foreign trade agreement (FTA), informs Geeta Dalal.

Asia is a very important market for EU companies and by adopting a very strict attitude this market could have been jeopardised. Similarly, India is also a very important market for pharmaceutical companies of Europe. The proposed EU India FTA may open new markets for these pharmaceutical markets.

By adopting a flexible approach, both EU and India can be benefited. Indian would get good foreign direct investment in the pharmaceutical and allied fields and European companies may get access to Indian pharmaceutical market, informs Geeta Dalal.

The proposed FTA would be concluded within this year and many trade related issues would be discussed there. Let us wait for the final version of the EU India FTA.