Date expired medicines
Date expired medicinesReuters

The U.S. has continued to keep India on its annual list of countries with the worst record of preventing the theft of intellectual property (IP), reported Reuters. Officially known as a "priority watch list," India has remained on it for three years in a row.

The list monitored and released by the U.S. Trade Representative's Office has 11 countries on the priority list, including China, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and Kuwait from the Asian continent.

The trade body added that India, despite an improved enforcement effort, continued to stay on the highest of watch list due to unquantifiable and insufficient improvements to its IP legal framework.

The priority list, which does not accompany any sanctions, however, shames governments across the world into suppressing piracy and counterfeiting and updating their laws on copyright.

"Intellectual property is a critical source of economic growth and high-quality jobs for the United States, and it is more important than ever to prevent foreign governments and competitors from ripping off United States innovators who are trying to support high-paying jobs by exporting their goods and services to consumers around the world," U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman said in a statement.

The trade office said that the value added of U.S.-held intellectual property was around $5 trillion in 2010, contributing 34 percent to U.S. gross domestic product that year and supporting 40 million jobs in IP-intensive industries.

China's continuation on the priority list was due to its trade secret theft and rampant piracy and counterfeiting of online and physical goods. The country's new requirement that an access to its markets is conditional to IP developed in or transferred to China was also a reason, according to the Reuters report.

Pakistan was moved higher up to the regular "watch list" as the country created specialised intellectual property courts, improved border security and set a timeline for improving its legal framework.

The report added that these countries on the U.S. government's "priority watch list" will particularly be subject to intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.

It also noted that there are 23 other countries on the regular "watch list," alongside Pakistan, that highlights other IP problems the country faces.