India wary of EU seizing Indian drugs
The Dollar Business Bureau
As the new European Union trademark law has been passed without considering any of the suggestions India has made, now the country is weighing its options in case the EU seizes its pharmaceutical exports to the third world countries.
According to a source from Commerce Ministry, the country will not hesitate to knock the doors of World Trade Organization. It is pursuing the issue bilaterally as it does not want any uncertainty. He also said that the EU is ready to discuss the matter with India to have a broader dialogue on Intellectual Property Rights.
As per the stringent enforcement provisions of new trademark legislation, customs officials can seize international consignments destined to third countries if they have brand names or logos that look like the same that have been registered as trademarks in the 28-member nations of the EU block.
As trademark laws are applied territorially, India had asked the EU officials that they should not bring the products in shipment under this law, the Commerce Ministry official said. He further explained that trademark violation happens if the trademark holder’s rights are misused in its territory or when its consumers have been cheated. If an item is still in shipment and has not been entered into the EU market, it should not be confiscated for any possible violation in future.
Indian manufacturers may not have the knowledge of the EU trademarks. Moreover, they are also afraid that the new legislation can be used to confiscate cheap generic drugs from India which are exported to the markets in Latin America and Africa. As big pharma companies in the EU feels threatened by the cheap but high-quality medicines exported from India.