[Ip-health] KEI statement to CDIP 6 on WIPO project on IP and Competition Policy

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Nov 24 08:30:11 PST 2010


KEI statement to Committee on Development and Intellectual Property on  
WIPO project on IP and Competition Policy
By thiru
Created 24 Nov 2010
Knowledge Ecology International made the following intervention today  
at the 6th Session of the WIPO Committee on Development and  
Intellectual Property (CDIP)[1].

KEI statement to WIPO CDIP 6 on Agenda item 5
"Thank you Ambassador and congratulations on your appointment as Chair  
of this Committee.

With respect to the progress report on relating to Annex XI in  
Document CDIP/6/2 on IP and Competition Policy, we offer a comment on  
the WIPO symposium on "Enforcing Antitrust Law with Reference to  
Intellectual Property Assets: New Developments and Perspectives [2]"  
held on October 25th, 2010.

We object to the fact that this symposium did not contain any consumer  
voices, something that the proponents of the Development Agenda  
clearly would not have intended.

There is no shortage of consumer perspectives on this topic. For  
example, the Treatment Access Campaign (TAC) South Africa has used  
competition law to address excessive pricing of HIV medicines. Civil  
society groups in Thailand have used competition law to challenge with  
withdrawal of drug registrations by Abbott following the issuance of  
compulsory licenses in that country. Brazilian civil society groups  
have raised competition concerns in drug patent issues as well. A  
number of public health, development and consumer groups have raised  
concerns about the use of exclusionary licensing practices for patents  
on AIDS drugs, and the uses of contracts with suppliers of active  
ingredients of pharmaceutical drugs to cut off supplies from generic  
products. KEI and Richard Stallman asked the U.S. Department of  
Justice and the European Union to block a merger involving a leading  
free software platform for database services. Consumers Union,  
Consumer Federation of America, PIRG, Public Citizen and KEI have been  
involved in numerous disputes involving the licensing practices of  
information and medical technologies. There have been concerns over  
the refusals to license ritonavir for co-formulated versions of AIDS  

We also note with concern that the four private companies WIPO invited  
to participate represent a very selective sliver of the industry  
perspective, namely that of companies on the receiving end of anti- 
trust inquiries and sanctions in various jurisdictions including the  
European Union, the United States and South Africa with a reputation  
for continued abuse. Companies that have successfully made best  
efforts to ensure compliance with competition rules and have pro- 
actively worked with antitrust authorities to resolve antitrust  
concerns were missing entirely as are representatives from the  
overwhelming majority of industry which never came in conflict with  
competition law.

The International Bureau's implementation of the Development Agenda's  
mandate on Intellectual Property and Competition Policy should take  
into account the views of consumers, and more diverse industry  

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1026
[1] http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=19688
[2] http://bit.ly/gWZUEJ


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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