Why Is Trips Agreement Important

Importantly, the TRIPS Agreement is also a significant improvement over previous agreements on intellectual property rights, as it has significant monitoring, enforcement and dispute settlement capabilities (Matthews, 2002:79-95). A TRIPS Council, composed of all WTO Members, reviews national legislation and the implementation of the Agreement. In the event of serious disputes, any Member may ultimately bring a case before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, which has the power to impose trade sanctions to ensure compliance with its provisions. Successful cases initiated by Ecuador and Brazil show that the dispute settlement mechanism works for both developed and developing countries (MIP, 2010). The TRIPS Agreement is therefore seen by its proponents as an enforceable global system for the protection of intellectual property rights, which plays an essential role in the modern global information society. By rewarding and promoting innovation, it facilitates international trade, stimulates economic growth and enables technological progress and the dissemination of knowledge, which ultimately benefits both producers and users in developed and developing countries. A wide range of drugs are developed and manufactured by pharmaceutical companies, and the TRIPS Agreement must distinguish between patents for Viagra and patents for efavirenz. It is reasonable to ask for full 20 years of intellectual property protection for `chemical toys` (17), but when it comes to vital essential medicines, certain concessions must be made in favour of the promotion of public health. The term `essential medicines` should not be defined in the context of the TRIPS Agreement by reference to a list of diseases, as has been proposed in the past (18), but as a general description of what constitutes the difference between an indispensable and a non-essential medicinal product. The possible criteria for inclusion in such a category would be: availability of an alternative treatment, severity of the disease that the drug is intended to treat, and the ability of the patentee to adequately supply the markets that require the patented product.

However, in order to benefit from separate definitions, separate provisions should be made, where appropriate. Ideally, two distinct groups of patent laws would exist in parallel; one applies to medicines that are considered essential and the other applies to non-essential medicines. The 2002 Doha Declaration reaffirms that the TRIPS Agreement must not prevent Members from taking the necessary measures to protect public health. Despite this recognition, less developed countries have argued that flexible travel arrangements, such as . B compulsory licences are almost impossible to apply. The least developed countries, in particular, cited their nascent domestic manufacturing and technology industries as evidence of the brutality of politics. Thirdly, and above all, the feasibility of the provisions on parallel imports and compulsory licensing has been questioned. Point (d) of paragraph 5 clarifies that Member States have the right to participate in parallel imports, in particular without interference from external actors. Another concern, as we have already mentioned, was that compulsory licences were only allowed if they were used to supply the domestic market of the country of authorisation. This meant that developed countries could not approve compulsory licenses to supply medicines to developing countries.

A compulsory licence may only be used to supply a developing country if the proposed licensed product is manufactured in its jurisdiction (11). The problem with this situation is that developing countries rarely have the infrastructure to support a stable pharmaceutical industry. Paragraph 6 of the Declaration (9) refers to the following: this Agreement provides for a review of the provisions of Article 27, paragraph 3, point (b), four years after the entry into force of the Agreement (i.e. in 1999). This review is ongoing at the TRIPS Council. Article 31 of the TRIPS Agreement sets out the conditions for the use of compulsory licences by Member States. It begins with the following statement: `Where the right of a member permits a different use of the subject matter of a patent without the authorisation of the rightholder` (6) with regard to compulsory licences. The wording of the article clearly allows Member States to adopt national legislation on the protection of intellectual property without provisions on compulsory imports, while respecting the TRIPS Agreement, the Doha Declaration and the Decision of 30 August 2003.

The concept of compulsory licensing has very little value for public health if the only countries that adopt it are those that do not have the capacity to manufacture pharmaceuticals. While it is true that parallel importation is also formulated as an option and not as an obligation, this is not such a serious problem, because for a country to benefit from parallel imports, it only needs to amend its own national legislation to make this possible; it does not depend on the cooperation of other nations. On the other hand, a developing country can only benefit from a compulsory licence if the more developed countries implement it in their own legislation. The terms of the TRIPS Plus Agreement, which prescribe standards other than TRIPS, were also reviewed. [38] These free trade agreements contain conditions that limit the ability of governments to introduce competition for generic manufacturers. In particular, the United States has been criticized for pushing protection far beyond the standards prescribed by the TRIPS Agreement. U.S. free trade agreements with Australia, Morocco, and Bahrain have expanded patentability by requiring patents to be available for new uses of known products. [39] The TRIPS Agreement allows for compulsory licensing at a country`s discretion.

The terms of the TRIPS Plus Agreement in the U.S. free trade agreements with Australia, Jordan, Singapore, and Vietnam have limited the use of compulsory licenses to emergencies, antitrust remedies, and non-commercial public use cases. [39] Finally, it should be recalled that developing countries` lack of access to essential medicines is due to a number of factors. An unprecedented level of international cooperation and empathy will be needed to make meaningful progress on this issue. However, this paper focuses on the factor that has received the most attention: the WTO and its TRIPS Agreement. This facet of the problem is highlighted in three ways in this document: prior to the Uruguay Round negotiations in 198694, there was no specific agreement on intellectual property rights under the GATT multilateral trading system. Access to life-saving medicines is a fundamental human right and, as such, trumps all other claims in this area. The reason why this issue is so complex and so hotly debated is that the right must be granted in order to satisfy that right. In other words, in order to finance the development of essential medicines, the manufacturers of these medicines must be financially compensated by the users of the medicines they cannot afford in this case.

Since access to essential medicines is a fundamental human right, those who cannot afford these medicines should theoretically be provided free of charge or at a reasonable cost. Based on the above argument, the problem of the TRIPS Agreement is defined in the context of global public health: the fundamental human rights of the populations of developing countries must be respected without hindering the development of new drugs that serve to promote the satisfaction of this right. It may also clarify or interpret the provisions of the Agreement. A 2003 agreement relaxed domestic market requirements and allowed developing countries to export to other countries where there is a national health problem, as long as the exported medicines are not part of a trade or industrial policy. [10] Drugs exported under such a regime may be packaged or coloured in different ways to prevent them from affecting the markets of developed countries. Basic Introduction to the WTO Agreement on Intellectual Property (TRIPS) From the WTO Understanding Agreement, an introduction to the WTO, written for non-specialists. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement between all member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It establishes minimum standards for the regulation of various forms of intellectual property (IP) by national governments, as applied to nationals of other WTO member states. [3] The TRIPS Agreement was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between 1989 and 1990[4] and is administered by the WTO. Socio-political factors play an important role in the widespread spread of disease in underdeveloped countries. The lack of basic infrastructure in developing countries, such as roads and transport to access hospitals, the neglect of the generally large rural population and basic sanitation to prevent the spread of disease, are all concerns that need to be addressed to address the public health crises facing these countries. Instability, corruption and inefficiency of the government are factors that exacerbate the situation (1).

– There is reason to be optimistic about the TRIPS Agreement. The Doha Declaration, which reaffirms WTO members` commitment to improving public health in developing countries, is only five years old, a very short period during which far-reaching changes in international law are to be expected. .