[Ip-health] Obama officials seek end of WIPO program on limitations and exceptions to patent rights in developing countries

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri Oct 24 07:51:00 PDT 2014


Submitted by Staff <http://keionline.org/user/13> on 24. October 2014 -

During the WIPO 2014 General Assembly's discussions of patents and health
in the context of the work of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patent
Obama Administration embraced an aggressive position against WIPO technical
assistance on the use of patent limitations and exceptions.

The hard line position at WIPO reflects the anti-poor views of Michelle
Lee, the soon to be confirmed head of the USPTO, Shira Perlmutter, the
Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at USPTO,
Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, Permanent Representative to the United Nations
in Geneva, Ambassador Michael Froman, the head of USTR, Karin Ferriter, the
hardliner representing USTR, and Carrie LaCrosse, a Foreign Affairs
Officer, Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy, US Department of

The United States expressed that "it did not support continuing work in the
SCP that was heavily tilted towards the erosion of patent rights." In
particular, the US objected to a work program focused on exceptions and
limitations of patent rights "without also having a tangible work program
on substantive patent law."

For the United States, work of the SCP is duplicative of the Development
Agenda’s Committee on Development and IP (CDIP) work and an inefficient use
of the SCP’s time. At its most strident, the United States

"expressed its disbelief that flexibilities were the exclusive solution to
the public health problems faced by developing countries and LDCs. The
Delegation supported a balanced approach to finding solutions to the public
health challenges in those countries, which were not limited to
flexibilities, such as compulsory licensing and exhaustion of patent
rights, but also included the benefits of strong IPR regimes, and the
effect of non-IPR barriers to delivering healthcare. The Delegation further
stated that it did not support developing within WIPO a technical
assistance module on TRIPS flexibilities. In its view, the WTO was the
appropriate body with the mandate to determine compliance with the TRIPS
Agreement. Therefore, the Delegation was mindful that such pronunciations
on the TRIPS Agreement would be outside the scope of WIPO's mandate."

Source WIPO Draft Report, Forty-Sixth (25th Extraordinary) Session

For the entire US statement, please see: http://keionline.org/node/2112

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