India suspends talks in WTO on drug seizure row with EU

India had dragged the European Union to the WTO in May this year after over 15 instances of seizure of its generic or off-patent pharmaceuticals consignments in Europe, mainly by the Netherlands, on the ground that they violated EU patent laws. But Indian government maintains that the consignments consisted of off-patent drugs.

However at the Brussels Summit early this month, the EU recognised the correctness of India's stand on patents that the action by some of the countries was illegal and agreed to amend the related notification.

As it would take some time to amend the notification, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said: "we have kept this (consultations in WTO) under suspended animation".

The consultations are a precursor for the parties to seek setting up of the Dispute Settlement Panel under the WTO. India and Eu had done two-rounds of official level talks in Geneva.

India's USD 22 billion pharmaceutical industry earns 45 per cent of its revenue from the export of generic drugs.

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