India is the latest country to have faced criticism for the alleged use of IP laws to curb innovation.
The country has been accused of criminalising certain technologies that could be used for legitimate business purposes, and the country has also been criticised for stifling creativity.
Now the country is under the spotlight again as the International Intellectual Property Council, an organisation that advises governments and corporations on intellectual property matters, released its latest report.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, also highlights India’s failure to protect against counterfeit goods.
It says it has been unable to stamp out counterfeits from the importation of pirated goods and it has not properly regulated online services such as online pharmacies.
The IPCC report, however, does not suggest that India is a particularly bad place to conduct business in the global marketplace, as many commentators have argued.
It also notes that there are other countries that have more robust intellectual property protection systems.
“In addition to the problems associated with the use of intellectual property law, the country’s policy responses to such threats are inconsistent,” it said.
It notes that the IPCCs assessment of India does not account for the role of other stakeholders including the judiciary, the media and consumers.
India is not the only country where a lack of legal protection of intellectual properties has been criticised.
The United States, for example, has been criticized for not properly regulating online drug sales.
In China, however (and China has long been the poster child for IP protection), China’s government has been pushing for a more robust regime.
China also has an ambitious plan to regulate online services like Google and Amazon.
The move has not gone down well in some quarters, particularly among Chinese internet users, who have expressed their anger at the US government’s move.
China has also taken action against internet services like Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to protect intellectual property rights.
The countries actions have not been popular with some members of the public who argue that the country does not need to defend intellectual property against threats from overseas.
But the IACC report is unlikely to make much difference in the future, said Suresh Kaur, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
“The IPCs report is not going to change any policy or make any policy recommendations.
But it does suggest the need to keep India on the right side of the law.”