India should concentrate on strengthening its intellectual property enforcement, and not confuse it with the controversial seizures of its generic drug exports, according to an International Chamber of Commerce-backed initiative.

The Rs.40,000-crore generic export industry has been hit by at least 17 cases of confiscation of consignments in Europe over the last few years, with some of the shipments being labelled as counterfeit drugs. India, Brazil and China defended their case, in this regard, at the World Trade Organization last year.

“I don’t think these issues should be confused. Cracking down on counterfeiting is bigger than the pharma industry.

Political issues like this only muddle the bigger picture of intellectual property enforcement,” said Jeffrey Hardy, Director, Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), in an interview with The Hindu.

Mr. Hardy said that a single authority for enforcing intellectual property was required in India. “India has too many ministries and government bodies that all have some responsibility to tackle IP infringement.”

(The correspondent is in Istanbul at the invitation of Microsoft)

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