USPTO and India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation

November 23, 2009
Press Release 09-31

Contact: Peter Pappas or Jennifer Rankin Byrne
Phone: (571) 272-8400 or;;

Expanded Cooperation Will Help Support U.S. Commerce Globally

WASHINGTON - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on comprehensive bilateral cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. Under the terms of the MOU, the USPTO and DIPP will cooperate on a range of IPR issues, focusing on capacity building, human resource development, and raising public awareness of the importance of IPR.

Following an address by India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to the business community, Ajay Shankar, Secretary for the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Sharon Barner, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, acting on behalf of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property David Kappos, signed the MOU during a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC.

"This memorandum strengthens our commitment to growing the cooperative relationship between our two offices," said Deputy Under Secretary Barner. "It provides a strong framework for moving forward in areas where we can together promote effective intellectual property rights protection and enforcement to the mutual benefit of our innovators and businesses."

Secretary Shankar said, "India has taken great strides towards the modernization of its Intellectual Property Organisation over the last decade, including the legislative framework, physical infrastructure, human resource development, awareness creation and even enforcement. Our vision is to transform our IP system into a worldclass organization by adopting transparent, automated and user-friendly procedures. The MOU that we are signing today would help strengthen our capacity to achieve this objective."

Under the MOU, the USPTO and the DIPP also signed an accompanying Action Plan to carry out specific activities under the MOU, including exposure to patent examination practices, exchanges of information on patent databases and patent manuals, IPR awareness programs, exchange of information on traditional knowledge and genetic resources, exchanges of best practices, and other matters.

The two offices will immediately begin planning the implementation of these cooperative projects under the MOU.