[Ip-health] Academics' Expert Letter on LDCs' TRIPS Extension Request

Yousuf Abdoola Vawda VAWDAY at ukzn.ac.za
Wed Apr 24 01:25:16 PDT 2013

Thanks, Patrick for those thoughts. It raises the question of whether and how such initiatives impact on our work/campaigns to eliminate blatantly inequitable trade and proprietary regimes. I do not believe that the LDC request for extension sacrifices any principle. Having said that, it must be acknowledged that such an initiative is no more 'reformist' than the Doha Declaration - in the sense that they both construe demands broadly within the framework of TRIPS, rather than argue for its dismantling. I would suggest that this effort is perhaps 'defensive' (even reactive) rather than reformist, in the attempt not to lose further ground, while continuing to demand for the elimination of all the barriers to development that TRIPS imposes.



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-----Original Message-----
From: Ip-health [mailto:ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org] On Behalf Of Patrick Bond
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:24 PM
To: ip-health at lists.keionline.org
Subject: Re: [Ip-health] Academics' Expert Letter on LDCs' TRIPS Extension Request

Dear Brook et al,

Though I'm extremely impressed by your work, I would not want to support a letter which so explicitly acknowledges the legitimacy of IP, and which simply asks for a time extension on compliance. It strikes me as giving up too much principled ground. It would be the kind of reform (some might term it 'reformist reform') that strengthens the system rather than undermines it (the latter being a 'non-reformist reform').
Is a more principled stance not appropriate for a struggle in which progressives won such a brilliant victory at Doha in 2001, where exemptions to TRIPS were the demand, instead of the legitimation of IP?

Keep up the great work,

On 4/23/2013 5:06 AM, Mohga Kamal-Yanni wrote:
> I wonder if the diverse groups that stood firm against ACTA will be
> interested to support the LDCs
> Best wishes
> ___________________________________
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> Dr. Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
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> Oxfam GB
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> From:   "Baker, Brook" <b.baker at neu.edu>
> To:     IP-health listserve <ip-health at lists.keionline.org>
> Date:   22/04/2013 16:05
> Subject:        [Ip-health] Academics' Expert Letter on LDCs' TRIPS
> Extension       Request
> Sent by:        "Ip-health" <ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org>
> Several of us are soliciting signatures from legal and other academics
> around the world who focus on human rights, intellectual property,
> trade, and development and who are in favor of the request by WTO
> least developed country Members that they be granted an extension of
> the time period within which they must become compliant with the TRIPS
> Agreement.  WTO LDC Members were initially given an extension with
> respect to all TRIPS requirements except national and most favored nation treatment until 2006.
>   That transition period was further extended until June 30, 2013 in
> 2005 (a separate extension was granted on pharmaceuticals only until
> 2016) but with some unfortunate conditions (beyond the unreasonably
> short term), such as a requirement that LDCs must keep their current
> level of IP protections, something that was not required by TRIPS
> Article 66.1.  The current request from LDC Members is for an
> unconditional extension of the transition period so long as an LDC Member is an!  LDC.
> It is hoped that a longer and unconditional extension permitting
> rollback of improvidently adopted IP standards will allow LDCs to
> build their technological base and improve limiting domestic
> capacities.  This request has received support from 350 civil society
> organizations, from some industry groups, from several multilateral
> organizations, and from many developing country members of the WTO.
> We are seeking signatures beyond those who focus primarily on access
> to medicine, to academics who are also concerned about IP impacts in
> LDCs on access to information (especially IT, educational, and
> scientific resources), agricultural resources, green and climate
> control/mitigation technologies, and development more generally.  We
> already have 30 signers, including several leading international IP and trade experts.
> We need help getting the letter distributed to a broader group of
> global academics, so would greatly appreciate your efforts in this regard.
> There is some urgency since the US and EU are ramping up their
> pressure on LDCs to impose a short and highly conditionalized
> extension and the final TRIPS Council meeting will happen soon.
> Therefore, we will be collecting signatures until April 26.  Please send your sign-ons to me:
> b.baker at neu.edu<mailto:b.baker at neu.edu>.
> Brook
> Professor Brook K. Baker
> Health GAP (Global Access Project)
> Northeastern U. School of Law
> Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
> 400 Huntington Ave.
> Boston, MA 02115 USA
> Honorary Research Fellow, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, S.
> Africa
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> b.baker at neu.edu
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