South Centre Statement to the 26th Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP)
The 26th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) is meeting this week at the WIPO headquarters in Geneva. The South Centre is participating in the current session of the SCP as an observer. The following statement was delivered by the South Centre on the first day of the current session of the SCP.
This paper discusses the current negotiation issues in the context of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the position the African Group has taken in these negotiations. (more…)
South Centre Statement on the Amendment to the WTO TRIPS Agreement to Ease Access to Affordable Medicine
An amendment to the TRIPS Agreement that aims to facilitate the access to affordable medicines has entered into force upon approval by two thirds of the WTO members. The amendment reflects the recognition by WTO Members of the need for the continued enhancement of global intellectual property rules to allow Members to systematically take measures to protect public health.
The WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations (Paragraph 44)
Paragraph 44 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates the ‘strengthening’ of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions in the WTO Agreement, and making them ‘more precise, effective and operational’. This Note tracks the evolution of these negotiations from the start of the Doha Round in 2001 until the Nairobi Ministerial in December 2015. (more…)
The WTO has a 1998 Work Programme on E-commerce. This Work Programme provides for the discussion of trade-related issues relating to electronic commerce to take place in the relevant WTO bodies: the Council for Trade in Services; the Council for Trade in Goods; the Council for TRIPS; and the Committee for Trade and Development. The General Council was envisaged to play a review or oversight role. (more…)
The WTO’s Agriculture Domestic Supports Negotiations
The historical problems in agriculture continue today. Developed countries with the financial capacity continue to subsidise their farmers and export these agricultural products. This has also been enabled by the Uruguay Round through large AMS entitlements for mostly developed countries ($19 billion for US and now about $95 billion for EU27), as well as the Green Box (Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture). (more…)
South Centre Statement to the WIPO Assemblies 2016
The statement highlights that the greatest challenge for developing countries and LDCs in the area of intellectual property (IP) is the proliferation of regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements that impose IP obligations, together with the coercive external political and economic pressure to restrain from making use of the flexibilities in the IP system.
South Centre Calls on the WTO TRIPS Council to Support Access to Medicines and Technological Advancement for the Least Developed Countries
The South Centre fully supports the Least Developed Countries’ (LDC) request for an extension of the transition period granted to LDCs under Article 66.1 of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in respect of pharmaceutical products for as long as a WTO member remains an LDC, and the waiver from obligations under Articles 70.8 and 70.9 of the TRIPS Agreement. (more…)
Transition Period for TRIPS Implementation for LDCs: Implications for Local Production of Medicines in the East African Community
Article 66.1 of the WTO TRIPS Agreement grants the least developed countries (LDCs) a transition period during which they do not have to provide intellectual property rights protection according to the minimum requirements of the TRIPS Agreement. This transition period has been granted to LDCs to ensure that LDCs are not constrained by the existence of IP rights from taking suitable measures to develop a sound and viable technological base in different industrial sectors. (more…)
Transition Period for Providing Patent Protection for Pharmaceutical Products by LDCs: The Need for Extension
How can Least Developed Countries (LDCs) make effective use of the transition period for the purposes stated in Article 66.1 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and in particular to promote access to affordable medicines and promote local manufacturing of generic medicines? Should LDCs seek a further extension of the transition period for pharmaceutical products beyond 1 January 2016?
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Protocol on Patents: Implications for Access to Medicines
This paper was commissioned to better understand the workings of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (commonly known as “ARIPO”) with regard to its Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs and to examine the effect of implementation of the Protocol (Section on Patents) on the promotion of access to affordable medicines. (more…)
Obstacles to Development in the Global Economic System
I. Obstacles to Development Arising from the International System
As the international community wades into the political discussions regarding the alternatives to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015 and the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as mandated by the Rio+20 conference, it is timely to consider the question of whether development is a matter mostly of individual effort on the part of nation-states or whether there are elements in the international economic system that could serve as significant obstacles to national development efforts. (more…)