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India puts Draft Model Bilateral Investment Treaty up for comments


mygovMyGov.in, the government’s online platform for ‘Citizen Participation towards Good Governance’, has a Draft Indian Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) text that is up for comments till 5pm, April 10th 2015. The platform has in fact made it very easy to comment by providing a comment box type feature not too different from most websites’ comments feature. You can find the text as well as the place to comment at this link here.

I’ve just skimmed through the text so far and have seen only two mentions of “intellectual property” – both in the following portions:

“2.6 This Treaty shall not apply to:

(v) the issuance of compulsory licenses granted in relation to intellectual property rights,or to the revocation, limitation or creation of intellectual property rights, to the extent that such issuance, revocation, limitation or creation is consistent with the Law of the Host State.”

From my very limited understanding, this assuages the fears that gains made through our patent law may be lost through signing these BITs – such as described in this article where Dr Prabhash Ranjan and Deepak Raju point out that most Indian BITs currently define ‘investment’ to include patents.. However, I’d like to ask our more competent readers to let us know their thoughts on this.

You can check the model BIT and leave your comments on it here.

H/T to Infojustice.

Swaraj Paul Barooah

Swaraj Paul Barooah

Follow @swarajpb Swaraj has a deep interest in IP, Innovation and Information policy, especially when they involve issues relating to Access to Knowledge, Innovation incentive mechanisms, Digital Freedoms, Open Access, Education, Health and Development. After his BA, LLB (hons) from Nalsar Univ of Law, Hyderabad, he went on to do his LLM from UC Berkeley in 2010. He is now pursuing his J.S.D. degree from UC Berkeley where he is focusing on Drug Innovation Policy and Access to Medicines. Aside from SpicyIP, he is also engaged as a consultant on various IP matters, and is a visiting faculty member at Nalsar Univ of Law. He is also in the process of starting up a New Delhi based "IP, Innovation & Information Policy" focused think-tank.

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