No Agreement On Public Health At TRIPS Council 25/10/2005 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate. Officials at the World Trade Organization committee responsible for intellectual property issues on Tuesday could not agree on how to permanently change trade law to permit poor countries in need to import drugs made elsewhere under compulsory license. The WTO Council on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is under mandate to amend the TRIPS agreement to reflect the fact that some countries that declare a public need for cheap pharmaceuticals under compulsory license may lack the manufacturing capability themselves. The council is discussing how to make a 30 August 2003 temporary TRIPS waiver for such countries into a permanent provision of TRIPS. A March 2005 deadline for an agreement has slipped away and the December WTO ministerial in Hong Kong has become the driver for resolving the issue. But the issue is technically not required to be dealt with as part of the single undertaking in Hong Kong. After little progress Tuesday toward compromise on an African Group proposal for a permanent amendment, council Chairman Choi Hyuck of South Korea suspended discussion of the public health issue. According to participants, Choi will continue informal consultations with the African Group, currently chaired by Nigeria, the European Union, which has informally floated a counterproposal, and the United States, considered by the chairman the other member with strong interest in the issue. Another meeting of the TRIPS Council would then be convened prior to Hong Kong. Some countries, such as Brazil and India, are concerned about the makeup of the informal consultations, as some see Africa being pressured to drop its proposal. There are several differences in the African and EU proposals (IPW, 25 October 2005). The TRIPS Council concluded the first day of a two-day meeting with no mention of the legal issues surrounding the availability of medicines to treat avian influenza, according to participants. The council meeting continues on Wednesday with the rest of the agenda (IPW, 25 October 2005). On 27 and 28 October, the council will discuss a register for wines and spirits geographical indications. Also on Tuesday, the council conducted the WTO transitional review on intellectual property issues in China, with some criticism of continued piracy and counterfeiting and some praise for progress, participants said. China gave a strong reply, a participant said. Separately on Tuesday in Washington, DC, the US Justice Department announced the first joint US-Chinese intellectual property criminal investigation was carried out with the arraignment of a US citizen who had allegedly brought in 2,000 pirated DVDs from China and the seizing of hundreds of thousands of pirated products in China. In addition, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Chinese Ministry of Culture, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and National Copyright Administration reviewed the results of anti-piracy enforcement efforts arising from their 13 July signing of a memorandum to protect films from piracy in China. The review showed improvement in some areas of the country, no change in others such as Beijing, MPAA said. "No Agreement On Public Health At TRIPS Council" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.