[Ip-health] IP-Watch: WTO Ministers Asked To Send Message On TRIPS Extension For LDCs

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Nov 17 08:47:08 PST 2011


WTO Ministers Asked To Send Message On TRIPS Extension For LDCs

Published on 17 November 2011 @ 4:42 pm

Intellectual Property Watch

The smallest countries in the World Trade Organization may get more time to comply with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) after an agreement today.

Members of the Council on TRIPS today agreed to ask trade ministers in December to invite the council to consider an extension of the transition period least-developed countries have to comply with TRIPS. Right now, LDCs must comply by July 2013 (except pharmaceuticals, which  is 2016). LDCs this week proposed an extension to an uspecified date (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 16 November 2011). The council’s decision on the proposed extension would be reported to the next WTO ministerial, likely in late 2013.

The TRIPS Council, in a short-notice meeting before the 18 November deadline to submit texts to the General Council in advance of the 15-17 December ministerial, also agreed to recommend the extension of a moratorium on so-called non-violation disputes under the TRIPS  agreement. Under WTO rules, a dispute might be brought against a member if its action harmed the expected benefit of another member, even if it did not technically violate a WTO agreement.

The proposed text on the LDC extension being sent to ministers reads:

“Ministers invite the TRIPS Council to give full consideration to a duly motivated request from Least Developed Country Members for an extension of their transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, and report thereon to the WTO Ninth Ministerial Conference.”

The ninth ministerial is expected at the end of 2013.


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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