[Ip-health] SARPAM seeks legal experts for patent and IP law reviews to promote maximum TRIPS flexibilities in Southern African (SADC) countries

Wilbert Bannenberg wjb1610 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 26 10:11:09 PDT 2012

Dear IP-Health readers,


SARPAM, a DFID funded project to achieve better access to essential
medicines in Southern Africa, is seeking some volunteer IP lawyers who are
willing to be listed and provide (if requested) technical assistance on
TRIPS issues in the 15 SADC countries (Southern African Development


SARPAM is guided by the SADC Pharmaceutical Business Plan (see


Amongst its activities the plan also touches on TRIPS and Access to


"The TRIPS agreement contains a number of flexibilities and safeguards that
allow countries to import or manufacture pharmaceuticals that are still
under patent without the consent of the patent holder. So far three Member
States namely; Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have issued either
compulsory licenses or Government use orders to take advantage of the
flexibilities to address public health emergencies. 

A second window of opportunity which could be exploited is contained in
paragraph 6 of the WTO decision of August 30th of 2003, which allows
regional economic blocs with at least half of its membership being LDCs to
trade in pharmaceutics within the bloc without restrictions. These
opportunities can be an effective ways of improving accessibility and
lowering medicine prices in the region."


In operational paragraph 4.1.8 it also states:


"Coordinate the implementation of TRIPS flexibilities to improve access to
essential medicines within the SADC region.

i). Conduct a regional assessment of intellectual property and medicines
legislation in countries to determine their TRIPS compliance and

ii). Identify reliable and specialized legal advice resources both within
and outside the SADC region and maintain a roster of legal experts who are
able to offer technical assistance on TRIPS;


My specific request to IP-Health readers is whether you would be willing to
be listed as a potential legal resource/expert of IP legislation in SADC
member states.


Such a listing would carry no specific obligations, but only the principle
that you would be willing to consider a request for support if a member
state (government or civil society) asks for support to review their IP
legislation (for example, to maximize their flexibilities, and to minimize
TRIPS+ aspects)


If you are in principle interested to assist, please then also state whether
you agree to be listed on a publicly accessible website or whether you would
like to be listed only on an internal list which will not be made public,
but which can be consulted by countries on a confidential basis.


Once you are listed as a potential expert, we will inform you from time to
time about progress in our SARPAM project, and may ask your comments on a
regional concept paper on trade, TRIPS and Access to Medicines that is being


In collaboration with UNDP and other partners, we will also review the IP
legislation of (initially) three SADC countries, to maximize their
flexibilities, and minimize TRIPS+.


IP-Health readers interested can send a message to wilbert at sarpam.net 


We are also keen to get recommendation for other experts, especially in the
SADC region. 


With kind regards


Wilbert Bannenberg

SARPAM team leader for Trade, TRIPS and Access to Medicines

wilbert at sarpam.net




More information about the Ip-health mailing list