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Monday, 19 February 2007

Informal TRIPs talks going nowhere fast

Bridges reports on a recent informal meeting conducted by WTO Deputy Director-General Rufus Yerxa. There remains a split on the issue of geographical indications. EU, India, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland want to see the extra protection given to wines and spirits extended to other products, but Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan and the US argue that TRIPs does not accord WTO members the power to do so. There is also a split on whether disclosure of use of biological resources and traditional knowledge should be required in patent applications.

The IPKat is relatively fatalistic on all this. The TRIPs members are (understandably) motivated by national interest, rather than principle. The only thing that’s going to break the deadlock is if those who stand to lose out are offered an equally juicy carrot to make up for any harm to national interests that will result.

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