Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are the four countries which forms the European Free Trade Association.
Several aspects are discussed in these agreements for free trade. This time Intellectual Property Right issues generated heat waves between EFTA members and India. Indian officials have stated that they are firm on their stand.
There is a demand of recognition for Geographical Indicators which is not permissible under Indian laws. Other than Geographical Indicators Data Exclusivity is also one more concern. Data exclusivity is generally intended to protect the interest of the innovator companies. Swiss based Pharmaceutical companies have their interest in this regard.
By exercising right over data the innovator companies can prevent other manufacturers from obtaining licence for manufacturing economical version of their drugs. This has been a major concern since Swiss pharmaceutical giant NOVARTIS lost its patent case to Indian company NATCO for its drug ‘GLIVEC’ India is in negation to the data exclusivity as it is not in favour of the medical facilities being guaranteed to the citizens.
The negotiations between India and Switzerland are going to be ended by 2014 which would benefit India to a larger extent.
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