TRIPS Agreement

Policy Brief 110, 5 May 2022

Analysis of the Outcome Text of the Informal Quadrilateral Discussions on the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver

By Carlos M. Correa and Nirmalya Syam

Almost one  and a half years after the proposal for a waiver of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement regarding health technologies for COVID-19 was proposed by India and South Africa with the support of the majority of WTO Members, the TRIPS Council has been unable to reach consensus on the proposed waiver or engage in text negotiations. In this context, the TRIPS Council agreed to suspend the discussions to allow the possibility of some solution to emerge from informal high-level consultations between the European Union, the United States of America, India and South Africa. Recently, the WTO Director-General transmitted the outcome of the informal consultations along with a draft text to the TRIPS Council. In this context, this policy brief analyzes the elements of the draft text that has been transmitted to the TRIPS Council. The proposed solution, which offers clarifications and limited waivers on some of the provisions governing compulsory licenses on patents relating to vaccines, reflects developed countries’ strong opposition to the broader waiver sought by the proponents to rapidly expand manufacturing capacity and the supply of health products needed to address the pandemic.

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Research Paper 152, 21 April 2022

An Examination of Selected Public Health Exceptions in Asian Patent Laws 

By Kiyoshi Adachi  

This study examines the variations within Asia of two exceptions to patent rights that are commonly justified under Article 30 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement), namely the research and experimentation exception and the regulatory review (or “Bolar”) exception. Both these exceptions are important in the context of the 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health insofar as they are designed to provide flexibility to protect public health and support countries’ overall scientific and technological aspirations. The study examines, from a comparative perspective, examples of these respective exceptions in patent legislation in South, Southeast and East Asia, and identifies peculiarities in the variations among countries in these sub-regions.

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SouthViews No. 64, 27 June 2013

Investment Agreements: A New Threat to Health and TRIPS Flexibilities?

By Carlos M. Correa

The bilateral investment treaties (BITs) may be a threat to access to medicines as shown by a recent legal suit by a drug multinational against Canada for invalidating a patent.

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SouthViews No. 50, 12 December 2012

LDCs seek exemption from WTO TRIPS agreement

By Kanaga Raja

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have submitted a “duly motivated” request to the WTO TRIPS Council for an extension of the transition period for them to comply with the TRIPS Agreement “for as long as the WTO Member remains a least developed country”.

A proposed draft decision annexed to their request states that: “Least developed country Members shall not be required to apply the provisions of the Agreement, other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, until they cease to be a least developed country Member.”

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SouthViews No. 49, 11 December 2012

LDCs seek exemption from WTO TRIPS agreement

By Mariama Williams

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have submitted a “duly motivated” request to the WTO TRIPS Council for an extension of the transition period for them to comply with the TRIPS Agreement “for as long as the WTO Member remains a least developed country”.

A proposed draft decision annexed to their request states that: “Least developed country Members shall not be required to apply the provisions of the Agreement, other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, until they cease to be a least developed country Member.”

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