Policy Brief 6, March 2007

Development and Intellectual Property under the EPA Negotiations.

The negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and the African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) are likely to result in additional layers of intellectual property right protection, at least in the case of the agreement with Cariforum countries.

A review of the ongoing negotiations and various draft texts and papers demonstrates an inadequate focus on the need for technological development, promotion of public health, protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge as well as for ensuring access to knowledge.

Considering the level of economic development in ACP countries, the negotiations should not include IP rights as part of the partnership agreement. Instead they should focus on industrial on various EU policies that have impeded participation of the ACP countries in the value-chain of products, protection of biodiversity and traditional knowledge and the use of TRIPS flexibilities.

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