Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Uncertain future for patent ordinance in India

Remember the ordinance India promulgared to comply with the WTO? Things are not yet completed.

from financialexpress:

As per rules, once Parliament goes into session, an Ordinance lapses within six weeks. The current session of Parliament started on February 25, 2005. It will go into a recess from March 24 to April 18. Therefore, the six-week deadline would expire in mid-April itself. The Patents Bill would thus be required to be tabled by commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath by March 24 itself. If the government misses the bus, then the whole process would have to begin afresh. A fresh Ordinance cannot be promulgated when Parliament is in session.

Legal experts said while a failure to abide by WTO rules could lead to sanctions by other countries, it would not happen immediately. First a country needs to file a dispute, following which the Appellate Body (AB) comes out with its decision. Based on the AB’s decision, the DSB Idispute settlement body)would give its judgement.

Only if India fails to implement the DSB’s decision within 15 months, other countries can impose sanctions against it. However, experts added that if India fails to stick to its WTO obligations, it could lose face in the on-going negotiations which would give the developed countries an advantage over it.


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