[Ip-health] KEI comment on WTO decision to extend TRIPS deadline for LDCs to July 1, 2021

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Tue Jun 11 06:25:56 PDT 2013


KEI comment on WTO decision to extend TRIPS deadline for LDCs to July 1, 2021.

11. June 2013

The WTO TRIPS Council has just approved an extension of TRIPS
Obligations for Least Developed Countries until July 1, 2021, a new
eight year extension. The new extension comes with some restrictions,
but provides more freedom than the previous extension, which had a
widely criticized and now eliminated "no rollback" clause. The
decision stops well short of what the LDCs had proposed.

The decision to extend the period of years before very poor countries
have to implement tough patent and copyright laws is welcome, but it
was surprisingly difficult to reach. What should happen next is
greater experimentation regarding they types of laws that are in the
best interest of least developed countries. Unfortunately, with less
than a decade before the extension runs out, the opportunity to
experiment will be burdened with uncertainty about the longer term
future. What is needed, from technical assistance agencies and LDCs
themselves is more boldness as regards innovation in laws that govern
innovation. We should not focus on when LDCs comply with TRIPS, but
rather what LDCs should do that is different.

The full decision is attached as a PDF file [2]. The operational
language follows:

Decides as follows:

1. Least developed country Members shall not be required to apply the
provisions of the Agreement, other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, until 1
July 2021, or until such a date on which they cease to be a least
developed country Member, whichever date is earlier.

2. Recognizing the progress that least developed country Members have
already made towards implementing the TRIPS Agreement, including in
accordance with paragraph 5 of IP/C/40, least developed country
Members express their determination to preserve and continue the
progress towards implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Nothing in
this decision shall prevent least developed country Members from
making full use of the flexibilities provided by the
Agreement to address their needs, including to create a sound and
viable technological base and to overcome their capacity constraints
supported by, among other steps, implementation of Article 66.2 by
developed country Members.

3. This Decision is without prejudice to the Decision of the Council
for TRIPS of 27 June 2002 on "Extension of the Transition Period under
Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement for Least-Developed Country
Members for Certain Obligations with respect to Pharmaceutical
Products" (IP/C/25), and to the right of least developed country
Members to seek further extensions of the period provided for in
paragraph 1 of Article 66 of the Agreement.

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1740
[2] http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/job-ip-8.pdf

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.

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