[A2k] IP Watch: LDCs To Press For Extension For TRIPS, Plain Packaging Back

Sangeeta Shashikant ssangeeta at myjaring.net
Wed Feb 27 01:57:03 PST 2013


--Snip--

"Informal discussions between countries have been going on about the
extension in the run-up to the upcoming TRIPS Council, according to
several sources. An LDC source told Intellectual Property Watch that the
proposal to make the extension infinite was meeting reluctance from
developed countries. This was confirmed by a developed country source who
toldIntellectual Property Watch that the upcoming TRIPS Council would give
countries the opportunity to discuss the LDCs proposal and that a finite
extension might be more appropriate."

--snip--

http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/02/26/wto-ldcs-to-press-for-extension-for-trips
-plain-packaging-back/print/

WTO: LDCs To Press For Extension For TRIPS, Plain Packaging Back

By Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch on 26/02/2013 @ 2:15 pm

Least developed countries next week will ask that World Trade Organization
members grant them another extension of the transition period to enforce
intellectual property protection measures beyond the current date of 1
July 2013. In addition, the issues of plain packaging for tobacco products
and innovation will be back on the agenda of the WTO intellectual property
committee.

The WTO Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) is scheduled to meet on 5-6 March.

Informal discussions between countries have been going on about the
extension in the run-up to the upcoming TRIPS Council, according to
several sources. An LDC source told Intellectual Property Watch that the
proposal to make the extension infinite was meeting reluctance from
developed countries. This was confirmed by a developed country source who
toldIntellectual Property Watch that the upcoming TRIPS Council would give
countries the opportunity to discuss the LDCs proposal and that a finite
extension might be more appropriate.

Over 300 civil society organisations have co-signed a letter supporting a
request by the Least Developed Countries to extend the transition period
from which they benefit under the World Trade Organization intellectual
property agreement.The letter
<http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CSO-Letter-Suppo
<http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CSO-Letter-Suppo>
rting-Extension-of-LDCs-Transition-Period.pdf> [1] [pdf] dated 21
February, calls on members of the World Trade Organization to
³unconditionally accord the LDC Group an extension of the transition
period as requested by the LDC Group.² The group made the request at the
last WTO Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS), which met on 6-7 November (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 7 November 2012
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/07/wto-members-launch-debate-on-ip-and-inn
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/07/wto-members-launch-debate-on-ip-and-inn>
ovation-ldcs-seek-more-time-to-enforce-ip-rules/> [2]).

An NGO fact sheet on LDC extension is here
<http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LDC-extension-Fa
<http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LDC-extension-Fa>
ct-Sheet.pdf> [3].

LDC Request

Haiti, on behalf of the least developed country members, circulated a
request
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipcw583_e.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipcw583_e.pdf> >
[4] [pdf] dated 5 November 2012 for an extension of the transitional
period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement.
The request said ³The situation of LDCs has not changed significantly
since the last extension decision in 2005,² and that ³LDCs continue to
play a very marginal role in the world economy, and their growing
integration in the global market has been accompanied by very limited
advances (if any) in their relative position compared with the rest of the
world.²

³Least developed countries¹ productive capacity is limited,² the document
said, and LDCs have serious infrastructure deficits. ³The least developed
country Members of the WTO continue to face serious economic, financial
and administrative constraints and need maximum flexibility to create a
sound and viable technological base,² it said.

Moreover, ³because of their extreme poverty, least developed country
Members need the policy space to access various technologies, educational
resources, and other tools necessary for development. Most IP protected
commodities are simply priced beyond the purchasing power of least
developed country Members and their nationals,² LDCs said in the request.

LDCs thus submitted a request for an extension of the transitional period
ending on 1 July 2013 ³for as long as the WTO Member remains a least
developed country.² At the November TRIPS Council meeting, no decision on
this request was taken as the item was put on the agenda late and under
³other business.²

NGO Letter

³We are of the view that Article 66.1 obliges the TRIPS Council to approve
without conditions the duly motivated request submitted by the LDCs,² said
the NGO letter, adding that ³LDCs face ongoing resource and human
constraints, widening technological gaps, and weak innovative capacities.
Overcoming these problems takes contextually specific strategies, policy
flexibility, greater financial resources, but it also takes time ­ decades
not years.²

The letter also states that ³LDCs are fully justified in seeking a group
extension rather than individual country extensions and in seeking
extensions with respect to all TRIPS obligations rather than select
obligations only.² The NGOs are calling for WTO members to support and
agree to the draft text presented by the LDCs so that ³Least 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,² and that no conditions and limitations be
attached to the decision that could limit the policy space and flexibility
available to LDCs under Article 66.1.

Article 66.1 of the TRIPS
<http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips.pdf> > [5] [pdf] states:

³1. In view of the special needs and requirements of least-developed
country Members, their economic, financial and administrative constraints,
and their need for flexibility to create a viable technological base, such
Members shall not be required to apply the provisions of this Agreement,
other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, for a period of 10 years from the date of
application as defined under paragraph 1 of Article 65. The Council for
TRIPS shall, upon duly motivated request by a least-developed country
Member, accord extensions of this period.

2. Developed country Members shall provide incentives to enterprises and
institutions in their territories for the purpose of promoting and
encouraging technology transfer to least-developed country Members in
order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base.²

Article 3 deals with ³National Treatment,² Article 4 is on
³Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment,² and Article 5 on ³Multilateral
Agreements on Acquisition or Maintenance of
Protection.²

In June 2002, the TRIPS Council adopted a decision following the
instruction of the Ministerial Conference to the Council for TRIPS
contained in paragraph 7 of the Declaration of the TRIPS Agreement and
Public Health
<http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_trips_e.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_trips_e.pdf> >
[6] [pdf], known as the Doha Declaration, according to which LDCs would
not be ³be obliged, with respect to pharmaceutical products, to implement
or apply Sections 5 and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement or to enforce
rights provided for under these Sections until 1 January 2016.²

In 2005, the TRIPS Council decided
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipc40_e.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipc40_e.pdf> >
[7] on an extension of the transition period under Article 66.1 of the
agreement for LDCs members until 1 July 2013. The decision also called for
enhanced technical cooperation for LDCs.
The civil society letter concludes by saying that ³attempt to weaken or to
refuse Least Developed Countries (LDCs) rights that they are entitled to
under the TRIPS Agreement will damage the credibility of the WTO as it
will show that the multilateral trading system is unable to benefit the
poorest and most vulnerable segment of the international community.²

The letter is co-signed by global, inter-regional and regional, and
national networks and organisations such as Consumers International,
Friends of the Earth, Health Alliance International, Médecins Sans
Frontières, Oxfam International, Third World Network, Health Action
International in Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe, Electronic Frontier
Foundation, Public Citizen, and IP Justice. The next TRIPS Council is
scheduled from 11-12 June, before the deadline of 1 July 2013.
Innovation, Plain Packaging

According to sources, Chile, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States
have asked that intellectual property and innovation in the context of
small and medium-sized enterprises be discussed next week.Also, the
Dominican Republic has asked that a measure by New Zealand to introduce a
plain packaging measure on tobacco products be discussed. The issue of the
New Zealand plain packaging measure was discussed during the WTO Committee
on Technical Barriers to Trade
<http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news12_e/tbt_30nov12_e.htm
<http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news12_e/tbt_30nov12_e.htm> > [8] (TBT)
in November 2012.

New Zealand notified the TBT committee about its proposal to introduce
plain packaging legislation in July 2012. The New Zealand Ministry of
Health website
<http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/proposal-introduce-plain-packaging-t
<http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/proposal-introduce-plain-packaging-t>
obacco-products-new-zealand> [9] indicates that ³The Government has agreed
in principle to introduce a plain packaging regime for tobacco, subject to
the outcome of a consultation process.²
The website
<http://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/legislation-and-regulation/regula
<http://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/legislation-and-regulation/regula>
tory-impact-statements/plain-packaging-tobacco-products/template-submission
s-plain-packaging-tobacco-products-consultation> [10] says that the
deadline for submission for the consultation was closed on 5 October 2012
and that over ³20,000 forms and template letters, post cards and
petitions² were received by the Ministry of Health.
The issue of plain packaging has already been discussed in the TRIPS
Council in 2011 (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 16 June 2011
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/06/16/plain-packaging-for-tobacco-puts-wto-me
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/06/16/plain-packaging-for-tobacco-puts-wto-me>
mbers-in-a-quandary/> [11]), and in July 2012, the Dominican Republic
notified the WTO that it had launched a dispute settlement case against
Australia its plain packaging law (IPW, IP-Watch Briefs, 18 July 2012
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/07/18/dominican-republic-files-wto-case-over-
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/07/18/dominican-republic-files-wto-case-over->
australian-tobacco-packaging/> [12]). According to the WTO
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds441_e.htm
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds441_e.htm> > [13], on
9 November 2012, the Dominican Republic requested the establishment of a
panel, and the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in its meeting on 17 December
2012, deferred the establishment of a panel.
Related Articles:
* WTO Members Launch Debate On IP And Innovation; LDCs Seek More Time To
Enforce IP Rules
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/07/wto-members-launch-debate-on-ip-and-inn
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/07/wto-members-launch-debate-on-ip-and-inn>
ovation-ldcs-seek-more-time-to-enforce-ip-rules/> [2]
* Dominican Republic Files WTO Case Over Australian Tobacco Packaging
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/07/18/dominican-republic-files-wto-case-over-
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/07/18/dominican-republic-files-wto-case-over->
australian-tobacco-packaging/> [12]
* WTO TRIPS Council To Consider New Brazil-United States Item On
Innovation
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/05/wto-trips-council-to-consider-new-brazi
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/05/wto-trips-council-to-consider-new-brazi>
l-united-states-item-on-innovation/> [14]




Categories: Copyright Policy,Development,Education/ R&D/
Innovation,Enforcement,English,IP Policies,Language,Patent/Design
Policy,Technical Cooperation/ Technology
Transfer,Themes,Trademarks/Geographical
Indications/Domains,Venues,WTO/TRIPS_______________________________________
_
Article printed from Intellectual Property Watch: http://www.ip-watch.org
<http://www.ip-watch.org/>
URL to article:
http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/02/26/wto-ldcs-to-press-for-extension-for-trip
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/02/26/wto-ldcs-to-press-for-extension-for-trip
> 
s-plain-packaging-back/
URLs in this post:
[1] The letter:
http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CSO-Letter-Suppor
<http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CSO-Letter-Suppor
> 
ting-Extension-of-LDCs-Transition-Period.pdf
[2] IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 7 November 2012:
http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/07/wto-members-launch-debate-on-ip-and-inno
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/07/wto-members-launch-debate-on-ip-and-inno
> 
vation-ldcs-seek-more-time-to-enforce-ip-rules/
[3] here:
http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LDC-extension-Fac
<http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LDC-extension-Fac
> 
t-Sheet.pdf
[4] a request:
http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipcw583_e.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipcw583_e.pdf>
[5] TRIPS: http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips.pdf>
[6] Declaration of the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health:
http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_trips_e.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_trips_e.pdf>
[7] TRIPS Council decided:
http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipc40_e.pdf
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/7_1_ipc40_e.pdf>
[8] WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade:
http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news12_e/tbt_30nov12_e.htm
<http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news12_e/tbt_30nov12_e.htm>
[9] New Zealand Ministry of Health website:
http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/proposal-introduce-plain-packaging-to
<http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/proposal-introduce-plain-packaging-to
> 
bacco-products-new-zealand
[10] The website:
http://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/legislation-and-regulation/regulat
<http://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/legislation-and-regulation/regulat
> 
ory-impact-statements/plain-packaging-tobacco-products/template-submissions
-plain-packaging-tobacco-products-consultation
[11] (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 16 June 2011:
http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/06/16/plain-packaging-for-tobacco-puts-wto-mem
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2011/06/16/plain-packaging-for-tobacco-puts-wto-mem
> 
bers-in-a-quandary/
[12] IPW, IP-Watch Briefs, 18 July 2012:
http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/07/18/dominican-republic-files-wto-case-over-a
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/07/18/dominican-republic-files-wto-case-over-a
> 
ustralian-tobacco-packaging/
[13] the WTO:
http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds441_e.htm
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds441_e.htm>
[14] WTO TRIPS Council To Consider New Brazil-United States Item On
Innovation:
http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/05/wto-trips-council-to-consider-new-brazil
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/11/05/wto-trips-council-to-consider-new-brazil
> 
-united-states-item-on-innovation/
Click here
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/02/26/wto-ldcs-to-press-for-extension-for-tri
<http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/02/26/wto-ldcs-to-press-for-extension-for-tri>
ps-plain-packaging-back/print/#Print> to print.





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