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Update: Trade Policy Forum Meeting in India

Intellectual property protection is crucial for software innovation. It encourages research and development that creates jobs in the US and around the world. That is why BSA is so pleased that USTR prioritized trade secret and patent protection in its Trade Policy Forum (TPF) discussions with India this week. TPF is an important bilateral dialogue to promote policies targeted at advancing trade between both countries. As such, it is encouraging that the impact of IP on digital trade and job creation was reflected on the agenda of yesterday’s meeting. BSA has been working with both the US and Indian government to help inform TPF discussions and provide the perspective of the software industry.

We appreciate that the US and India included a dialogue focused on the importance of protecting trade secrets. Trade secrets are a critical tool for the innovation economy because they enable software companies to protect their hard-earned research and development and thus, continue to foster innovation. BSA supported passage in the US of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), and we are pleased that the importance of civil and criminal trade secret protection was discussed at the event. Other positive outcomes of the meeting include commitments to support liberalization in the IT services area and to promote the digital economy.

The meeting also allowed for continued discussion on the importance of patent protection for computer-related inventions (CRI). CRIs play a pivotal role in the products and systems that form the basis of the digital economy, and patent protection provides the incentives needed for future innovation. The current Indian Guidelines for Examination of CRIs may, if not addressed, hinder innovation. We appreciate that the Government of India expressed openness to reconsidering the CRI Guidelines and we hope they will soon be revised to reflect international best practices. This will be an important step towards enabling innovators to protect and capitalize on their inventions, benefiting the Digital India initiative.

BSA and its members look forward to continuing working with both governments to advance policies that allow the fostering of the digital economy.

Aaron Cooper

Author:

Aaron Cooper serves as Vice President, Global Policy with BSA | The Software Alliance. In this role, Cooper leads BSA’s global policy team and contributes to the advancement of BSA members’ policy priorities: data privacy and security, intellectual property, and trade. Cooper joined BSA in February 2016 as Vice President, Strategic Policy Initiatives.

Prior to joining BSA, Cooper served as the Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law for Chairman Patrick Leahy on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Most recently, Cooper was of counsel at Covington and Burling, where he provided strategic counseling and policy advice on a range of intellectual property, communications, and privacy issues. Cooper has also served as Legal Counsel to Senator Paul Sarbanes.

Cooper is a graduate of Princeton University and Vanderbilt Law School. He clerked for Judge Gerald Tjoflat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

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