Remarks by Director Iancu at the India Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony

Remarks delivered at the India Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony

Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu

December 2, 2020


As prepared for delivery

Your Excellency, Secretary Mohapatra, it is an honor to be with you today. Thank you for your wonderful remarks. 

I’m grateful to you and the Indian government for all the work you’ve done to bring this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to fruition. And I am delighted to be here to sign it on behalf of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the U.S. Government, and all Americans.

I’m sorry we’re not able to meet in person, but I extend a big thank you to the members of each of our teams in the United States and India, who worked so hard to negotiate this agreement, and for everything they’ve done to make this virtual ceremony possible. 

The MOU we’ll be signing in a few minutes can serve as a vehicle for deepening cooperation between the USPTO, your Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and your intellectual property (IP) office. An earlier MOU between our organizations expired nine years ago, so it is high time for us to once again formalize our joint efforts.

The new MOU envisions work to be carried out along two paths—one that is substantive, and the other administrative. Within the substantive pathway, we will jointly build capacity in the full range of intellectual property disciplines, including patents, trademarks, copyright, and geographical indications. On the administrative side, we’ll exchange ideas and share experiences on how to manage the operations of our national IP offices, including the use of tools that can enhance our efficiency and productivity.

The agreement comes after many years of working together, and at an opportune time. India and the United States are the world’s largest and oldest democracies. And we have an enduring alliance, and deepening commercial and cultural ties. Last year, the total value of trade between our two nations was an impressive $146 billion, having more than doubled in less than a decade. 

Innovation backed by our intellectual property systems in both countries has played a critically important part in this remarkable growth. Indeed, our countries’ respective patent systems date back a very long time. American and Indian inventors and entrepreneurs, often working together in both of our countries, have made huge advances in science and technology, and have improved the human condition all around. 

I’m confident that this MOU will strengthen the IP systems in each of our countries, enabling even more innovation and growth. It will help tie our nations even closer together, and it will fortify our commitment to the IP rights of all of our citizens, and the many hundreds of companies that operate in both of our markets.

We meet today during a challenging period in human history. Yet we are witnessing incredible advances made in science, technology, innovation, and manufacturing that will soon deliver a vaccine to billions of people in record time. The IP protections we provide have created the foundation of the industries needed to develop solutions to all of our global challenges, including, and especially, the pandemic. All of which highlights the importance of our MOU.

Thank you, again, Mr. Secretary, for all you’ve done to conclude this Memorandum of Understanding, and I look forward to signing it.