India invites U.S. to discuss IP, market access after election

By Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India said on Thursday it would hold trade talks on intellectual property rights with the United States after its general election, buying time to address friction over drug patents until a new government is formed. Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher praised a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative not to label India with its worst offender tag in an annual scorecard on protecting U.S. patents, copyrights and other intellectual property. “It is a very sensible decision,” Kher, India’s chief trade negotiator, told Reuters, saying India was committed to protecting copyrights and reining in piracy. “They know very well that India is in transition.” But he defended India’s right to overrule patents in special cases – a bone of contention between the U.S. drugs industry and New Delhi, which wants its 1.2 billion people to have access to affordable medicines.

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