[Ip-health] Livemint: India may complain to WTO if Acta is enforced: Khullar

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri Jul 30 02:02:47 PDT 2010


<SNIP>

“As long as they have no access to change the TRIPS agreement, they  
are dead in the water because the treaty (Acta) does not have  
enforceability. But if they break the rules of Gatt (General Agreement  
on Tariffs and Trade), I will take them to Gatt,” commerce secretary  
Rahul Khullar said at a conference organized by the Federation of  
Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Ficci.


---------


	• Posted: Wed, Jul 21 2010. 1:00 AM IST
	• Published on page 5

India may complain to WTO if Acta is enforced: Khullar
Asit Ranjan Mishra , asit.m at livemint.com



India may complain to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the  
developed nations if they try to enforce intellectual property  
regulations that go beyond the terms accepted by WTO and the World  
Intellectual Property Rights Organization.

Countries such as the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and  
Singapore, and the European Union (EU) are working together to set up  
new international standards on intellectual property rights under the  
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or Acta.

Negotiations began in June 2008 and are expected to be completed by  
the end of this year.

The group released a draft agreement in April, which includes new  
norms against copyright infringement on the Internet and the sale of  
counterfeit goods that could also include generic drugs.

Developing countries such as India and China have described the  
proposal as TRIPS-plus, or going beyond the scope of the agreement on  
trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). They  
consider this an attempt to impose undue restrictions on the  
production and export of generic drugs in their countries.

“As long as they have no access to change the TRIPS agreement, they  
are dead in the water because the treaty (Acta) does not have  
enforceability. But if they break the rules of Gatt (General Agreement  
on Tariffs and Trade), I will take them to Gatt,” commerce secretary  
Rahul Khullar said at a conference organized by the Federation of  
Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Ficci.

Gatt, under which the TRIPS agreement was finalized, is administered  
by WTO.

Khullar said developed nations don’t have the clout to make WTO agree  
to a revised agreement that will be acceptable to developing countries  
such as India, China, Brazil and South Africa.

“Under Acta, the definition of counterfeit is being widened beyond the  
WTO definition, which is applicable only if the commercial interest of  
the concerned party is adversely impacted,” said Rajan S. Ratna,  
professor at the Centre for WTO Studies. “Under such a broadened  
definition, even generic drugs could also be categorized as  
counterfeit.”

India and Brazil have already launched a trade dispute against the EU  
and the Netherlands at WTO over the seizure of generic medicines in  
transit. Currently, the two sides are going through a mandatory  
consultation process, the first step in a formal dispute at WTO.

Medicine consignments from Indian pharmaceutical companies have been  
seized in transit at European ports several times on grounds of patent  
infringement.

Under the European Commission laws, if a consignment of drugs is not  
patented in the country of origin or the final destination, it can be  
seized. EU customs can, on the basis of a 2003 regulation, detain  
goods in transit if they suspect violation of intellectual property  
rights.

India has objected to this, arguing that TRIPS allows such exports as  
the EU is not the destination.


------------------------------------------------------------


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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