SouthViews

SouthViews No. 243, 15 November 2022

International Clean Technology Diffusion: Pathways and Prospects

By Wenting Cheng

International clean technology diffusion is essential to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while fast and optimal diffusion can be prevented by the paywall of patents. This article examines three pathways to foster international clean technology diffusion: through restriction of intellectual property, including imposing external restraints in environmental law; striking an internal balance in maximizing TRIPS flexibilities; and keeping the status quo. It finds that the first two treaty-based pathways may not work, and an operable pathway to promote clean technology diffusion is to maximize and consolidate TRIPS flexibilities in national laws. This option challenges the popular proposal of a “Doha-like” declaration on TRIPS and climate change due to the paralysed multilateral trade mechanism, asymmetrical negotiation power of developing countries, prolonged negotiation process, and categorization problem in treaty negotiations.

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SouthViews No. 242, 4 November 2022

A Proposal for a New Approach to Restructuring African Eurobonds: The DOVE Fund and Principles

By Daniel Bradlow

This article argues that the current arrangements for restructuring sovereign bonds do not meet Africa’s needs. African states and their supporters should create a DOVE (Debts of Vulnerable Economies) Fund that can purchase the bonds of African sovereign debtors in distress and commit to restructure them in accordance with the DOVE Fund Principles. This Fund can help interrupt inter-creditor dynamics and push the bondholders to be more open to innovative approaches to debt restructuring.  This article, after briefly considering some of the problems with the current process for restructuring sovereign bonds, discusses the DOVE Fund and the DOVE Fund Principles.

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SouthViews No. 241, 12 September 2022

The South’s Role and Responsibilities in the Next Phase of Multilateralism

By Elizabeth Sidiropoulos and Luanda Mpungose

The global erosion of trust in the global institutions is the direct result of non-delivery on the most crucial challenges that face humanity such as inequality, poverty, and climate change. South-South Cooperation can play a vital role in reinvigorating multilateralism. Beyond its horizontal engagements it has already begun supporting and enriching processes, institutions and norms-building at the global level. However, changing the superstructures that have discriminated against many developing countries will require a strategy that involves prioritising, coalition-building and coordination.

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SouthViews No. 240, 1 September 2022

Competition Law and Intellectual Property: A Study Drawing from The Eli Lilly Case on ‘Sham Litigation’ in Brazil

By Pablo Leurquin

Competition authorities may be the best equipped institutions to penalize certain illicit practices that involve intellectual property rights. This article analyzes the decision by the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica – CADE) in the Eli Lilly case, in which the company was convicted for abusive use of the right to petition (sham litigation) with anti-competitive effects. It examines general aspects of technological dependence in the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry, presents the legal premises necessary for the understanding of the decision made by the competition authority, and analyzes the legal grounds for the sanction imposed on Eli Lilly.

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SouthViews No. 239, 30 June 2022

Farmers, Seeds & the Laws: Importing the Chilling Effect Doctrine

By Saurav Ghimire

As an increasing number of countries are formulating Plant Variety Protection (PVP) laws, a growing number of farmers are affected by plant breeders’ rights. In addition, the seed certification law also affects farmers’ relations with seeds. Discussing the farmers’ interaction with the PVP law and seed certification law in Indonesia, this article establishes that the farmers have internalised the law beyond the scope of the legal text, such that they self-limit breeding, saving, and exchanging of seeds even in legally permissible situations. Based on the chilling effect doctrine, this article argues that the related laws should be relaxed to ensure that they do not over deter farmers from exercising their rights. This article calls for both negative and positive state obligations to address the chilling effect on farmers arising from both state and private actors.

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SouthViews No. 238, 20 June 2022

Doha Twenty Years On – Has The Promise Been Betrayed?

By Yousuf Vawda and Bonginkosi Shozi

The Doha Declaration’s twentieth anniversary in November 2021 has taken place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The experience of the past two years has demonstrated that the very factors that necessitated the Declaration—the problems of inequitable access to medicines and other health technologies for the world’s poor—continue to plague us.

Has the promise of the Doha Declaration been betrayed? In this contribution, we critically engage with this question, focusing our appraisal on whether the Doha Declaration has been successful in fulfilling its commitments to: (a) advancing access to health; (b) equity and fairness in the relations between WTO Members States; and (c) recognising perspectives from the developing world in formulating IP policy. Ultimately, we conclude that the promise of the Doha Declaration has failed to materialise.

There are many reasons for this. For instance, developed country governments have intentionally undermined the Declaration by their insistence on inserting more onerous TRIPS-plus provisions in free trade agreements and economic partnership agreements, which decimate the limited flexibilities permitted by the TRIPS Agreement. And where countries have sought to use such flexibilities, they have been assailed by an over-litigious pharmaceutical industry, and threats by governments such as the US 301 Watch List. For these reasons, we argue for the need for alternative paradigms to challenge Western hegemony and norms regarding IP and other trade-related issues, and for effectively challenging this through the application of a “decoloniality” approach.

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SouthViews No. 237, 31 May 2022

Structural Change and the Environment

By Calixto Salomão Filho

Free-riding and free driving are relevant problems undermining structural transformation in environmental matters. These two different trends of the markets give incentive to opportunistic and individualistic behavior that hinders the abilities of international markets to create positive environmental externalities. To the contrary, they might lead to monopolistic concentration and negative environmental externalities.

Law, instead of allowing them (through carbon markets compensations only, for example) should look for alternatives of structural transformation of markets. Both well know concepts as the common goods and newer ideas as the possibility of positive screening of transformative market alternatives (or transformed enterprises) might be really useful for such a goal and consequently for the production of positive environmental externalities.

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SouthViews No. 220, 28 de junio de 2021

Mejora la regla del nexo para una distribución justa de derechos fiscales a países en vías de desarrollo

Por Radhakishan Rawal 

Uno de los problemas abiertos para Pilar Uno en el debate de la tributación de la economía digital es el umbral del Nexo, que determinaría qué Empresas multinacionales (MNE) tienen una presencia tributable. Las economías muy desarrolladas o las economías más pequeñas en vías de desarrollo pueden verse privadas de derechos fiscales como resultado de umbrales de nexo como son descritos en la propuesta de Pilar Uno. Asimismo, inclusive cuando se adoptan umbrales más pequeños, a algunos países aún se les puede denegar derechos fiscales. El umbral financiero nunca fue un parámetro de distribución de derechos fiscales entre los países. Un ligero ajuste del proceso de certeza impositiva podría abordar el problema.

Este artículo recomienda otorgar el derecho fiscal por Monto A de Pilar Uno, que abarca la porción principal de ganancias tributables de la economía digital, a todas las jurisdicciones del mercado, pero otorgar derechos relacionados con las jurisdicciones impositivas afectadas solo a aquellos países que cumplen con los umbrales de Nexo. Este enfoque resultará en una distribución justa de derechos fiscales y también garantizará que no haya una carga adicional en el proceso de certeza impositiva, que será más sencillo para países en vías de desarrollo.

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SouthViews No. 236, 15 March 2022

Addressing Food Insecurity and Climate Change for Poverty Reduction in the Horn of Africa

By Ali Issa Abdi

This article provides an assessment of the impact of food insecurity and climate change on poverty reduction in the Horn of Africa (HoA), which is one of the most affected regions in the world by these interlinked challenges. The region is confronted by these interconnected and mutually reinforcing negative conditions, which are compounded by institutional constraints, insecurity and scarce financial resources. Consequently, to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty in all its forms by 2030, it is imperative to implement urgent and radical transformation of food production systems, and to adopt accelerated and scaled up global actions to strengthen resilience and people’s livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes.

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SouthViews No. 235, 10 March 2022

The WTO TRIPS Waiver and Essential Security Rights in 2022

By Dr. Alexander Beyleveld

Almost two years have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are still far from bringing the pandemic to an end. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that large vaccine inequities remain worldwide. In order to address this problem, a large subset of World Trade Organization (WTO) members are in favour of waiving certain obligations contained in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). Against this backdrop, this article contemplates the legal necessity of such a waiver given that Article 73 of the TRIPS Agreement contains essential security exceptions which may render the obligations in question inapplicable under the interpretation that the pandemic affects law and public order interests.

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SouthViews No. 234, 18 February 2022

South Asia and the Need for Increased Tax Revenues from the Digitalized Economy

By Abdul Muheet Chowdhary

It is understandable why Pakistan and Sri Lanka, both members of the OECD Inclusive Framework, rejected the Two Pillar solution of the OECD on the taxation of the digitalized economy. Both Pillars would have deprived them of badly needed revenues, especially Pillar One. South Asian countries, amongst the poorest in the world and with high levels of external debt, must conduct a careful cost-benefit analysis if they are considering proceeding with Pillar One. Agreeing to this means foregoing unilateral measures on all companies, including those out-of-scope and losing vital policy space. Further, the agreement will have a long shelf-life and likely last for the next 30-40 years. Thus, all developing countries, including from South Asia, should be clear about what they are ‘getting into’.

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SouthViews No. 233, 31 January 2022

Mainstreaming Public Health Considerations in Adjudication of Intellectual Property Disputes: Implications of Specialized IP Courts and General Courts

By Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan

How can the public interest dimension be considered in the adjudication of intellectual property (IP) disputes, in particular those concerning patents on health technologies such as medicines and vaccines? This is the main question addressed by Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan, former Judge of the Madras High Court and former Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) of India, as an expert facilitator, at the Asian Regional Course for Judges on Intellectual Property and Public Health organized by the South Centre in August 2021. Justice Sridevan addressed the pros and cons of adjudication through specialized courts vis-à-vis general courts.

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