[Ip-health] WTO TRIPS Council: Ecuador questions the European Union on Italian compulsory licenses

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon Oct 31 10:06:22 PDT 2011

For the full text of Ecuador's intervention, please see: http://keionline.org/node/1307

WTO TRIPS Council: Ecuador questions the European Union on Italian compulsory licenses

Submitted by thiru  on 31 October 2011 - 18:53

On 25 October 2011, the WTO TRIPS Council held its annual review of the Paragraph 6 System under Item G. Under the sub-heading of alternatives to the Paragraph 6 system, Ecuador asked  the European Union (EU) about the issuance of three compulsory licenses in Italy between 2005 to 2007. In its intervention, Ecuador asked the EU for more detail regarding the Italian Competition Authority's issuance of compulsory licenses for export to Spain and other EU members in cases involving Glaxo and Merck including, but not limited to, administrative procedures, decision-making processes, and rationale. In its intervention, Ecuador asked EU to provide examples of all other uses of Article 31(k) for export involving medical technologies. When the WTO secretariat publishes its summary of the October 2011 TRIPS Council proceedings, it will be important to examine the EU's response to Ecuador's questions on state practice on the issuance of compulsory licenses under Article 31(k) of the TRIPS Agreement. Note, article 31(k) waives the restriction imposed by Article 31(f) on compulsory licensing for export when a Member issued a compulsory license "to remedy a practice determined after judicial or administrative process to be anti-competitive". One of the cases cited by Ecuador involved finasteride, an active ingredient used to treat hypertrophy of the prostate, cancer of the prostrate, and male-pattern baldness.


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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