[A2k] IP-Watch: China, India To Raise Concerns At WTO About “TRIPS-Plus” Measures, ACTA

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Jun 3 23:15:37 PDT 2010


Intellectual Property Watch
3 June 2010

China, India To Raise Concerns At WTO About “TRIPS-Plus” Measures, ACTA
  By William New	 @ 10:18 pm
China and India, two increasingly potent players on the global  
economic stage, next week plan to voice concerns at the World Trade  
Organization about efforts by developed countries to push poorer  
trading partners beyond their WTO commitments on trade and  
intellectual property rights, so-called TRIPS-plus measures.

The issue has been placed on the agenda of the 8-9 June Council on  
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

“The idea is to raise concerns about all the TRIPS-plus [activity]  
around us,” said a developing country official familiar with the  
issue. This includes bilateral and regional free trade agreements and  
“its culmination in the form of ACTA,” the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade  
Agreement being negotiated among a group of mostly developed WTO  
members (led by the United States and the European Union, which are  
actively negotiating bilaterals).

The issue is coming up in part now that non-negotiating governments  
have seen the draft text of ACTA since its release in April under  
public interest pressure. “Now we have a basis for a systematic  
analysis,” the official said.

Key areas of concern to be raised include: a lowering of the threshold  
for criminal cases, damages, transit issues, and cross-referencing in  
the European Union, the official said. The latter refers to the  
recently completed EU-CARIFORUM agreement that will make it necessary  
for the Caribbean countries to effectively implement ACTA without  
having been involved in the ACTA negotiation.

The TRIPS Council is a venue for discussing any issue related to the  
1994 WTO TRIPS Agreement, which set out terms for respecting IP rights  
but also contains flexibility for countries to be able to override it  
if they deem it in their national interest.

To China and India, the official said, TRIPS-plus issues “constrain  
flexibilities and undermine the balance of rights in the TRIPS  

The April 2010 public version of ACTA is available here [pdf].

Countries negotiating ACTA include: Australia, Canada, the European  
Union and its 27 member states, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand,  
Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland.

India and Brazil recently filed a dispute settlement case at the WTO  
against the EU for customs measures that have led to stoppages of  
legitimate generic medicines passing through from India to developing  
countries out of concern that the generics infringed IP rights of  
European brand-name drugmakers (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 12 May 2010).

China this week came under fire in its biannual WTO trade policy  
review from the US and EU for lax IP rights enforcement and possibly  
discriminatory encouragement for domestic innovation (IPW, WTO/TRIPS,  
3 June 2010).

Next week’s TRIPS Council meeting also includes a usual list of issues  
related to the longstanding Doha Round trade negotiations at the WTO,  
and another new issue, a wish by some developing countries to hold a  
workshop to examine why a 2003 TRIPS amendment intended to help poor  
countries obtain affordable medicines more easily has almost never  
been  used (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 31 May 2010).


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

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