Investment treaty, intellectual property on India-US agenda

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Intellectual property rights and a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) would be key issues on the agenda in the ongoing India-US dialogue on the economic front, according to a State Department official.

Secretary of State John Kerry had “a very good visit” to India recently for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vibrant Gujarat economic summit, and a variety of issues including IP and BIT were talked about, state department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters Thursday.

While she did not have anything to share about the path forward, Harf said those “certainly are key issues that we talk about.”

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In response to another question, the official said they were pleased at A New York court dismissing a lawsuit accusing Modi of failure to control 2002 Gujarat riots saying as a sitting head of government he was entitled to immunity.

“We’ve obviously seen the complaint that the federal district court against Prime Minister Modi has been dismissed based on the executive branch’s brief that Prime Minister Modi is entitled to immunity as the sitting head of a foreign government.”

“We are pleased that the court deferred to the determination of the US Government,” she said noting “Courts have consistently dismissed cases against sitting heads of government on the basis of their immunity.”