- February 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: International Agreements
Context : India’s joint proposal with South Africa at the World Trade Organisation for a waiver of certain Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights obligations to ensure smooth supply of medicines and vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has gained support from most developing countries while several developed members, including the US, Australia and the EU are opposing it.
- TRIPS is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulations as applied to the nationals of other WTO Members.
- It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994.
- TRIPS requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering content producers including performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations; geographical indications, including appellations of origin; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs; patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade dress; and undisclosed or confidential information.
- The agreement also specifies enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution procedures.
- TRIPs Plus are higher level of protection norms demanded by the developed countries that are not prescribed by the WTO’s TRIPs regime.
- They demand higher protection to intellectual property rights including inventions, internationally. These higher levels of protection norms are named as TRIPs Plus.
- The term is used to indicate that these requirements go beyond the minimum standards imposed by TRIPs.
- Many developing countries who are members of FTAs are under pressure to enact these tougher conditions in their patent laws.
- The developing countries have concerns over the higher level of protection demanded by the developed world. They fear that once such levels of protection are given multilaterally, it will reduce competition and may led to price rise of medicines, affecting health security in poor countries
- For example, the demand for Data Exclusivity protection (protection of clinical test data submitted to a regulatory agency) that have high commercial value is a major demand from the developed world which doesn’t usually come under TRIPs.
- India has consistently objected to put higher level of protection (TRIPs Plus) than provided by the TRIPs.
- The implication of TRIPs Plus on India is that it will restrict the operation of the country’s generics drugs manufactures.