Public and Private Actors Team Up to Fight Counterfeits in India
On Monday, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Central Board of Exercise and Customs, the chief Customs body in India, held a workshop that brought together IP policy professionals, brand owners, industry associations, and IP enforcement police. This workshop focused on training customs police on the issue of counterfeit products coming into India, as well as giving them the tools necessary to identify these products.
India historically has not been effective at protecting intellectual property rights. Property Rights Alliance’s International Property Rights Index ranks India 45th in the world for intellectual property protection. To combat this, India released its National IP Policy in 2016. This legislative package is focused on building awareness of intellectual property and the economic incentives for brand owners of securing rights to their IP. The policy also focused on increasing India’s capacity for IP by easing the administrative process to obtain IP protections.
As India continues to be one of the world’s fastest growing economies, counterfeit goods have the potential to derail the country’s goal of becoming the world’s manufacturing hub. According to the Committee against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Destroying the Economy, the supply of counterfeit goods in India increased by 44.4 percent between 2012 and 2014. This high-volume trade in counterfeits decreases the incentives for multinational corporations to invest in India, out of fear that they may lose out on sales to illicit goods.
By bringing together various sectors of the Indian economy, the International Chamber of Commerce is helping India make progress on the development of its intellectual property regime. Protection of IP does not solely fall on governmental authorities or brand owners in the corporate arena. The partnership of government agencies and private enterprise will be key for India, and other countries, to improve the enforcement of intellectual property rights moving forward.
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