Pharma Backs Calls For Extension Of TRIPS Deadline For Least-Developed Countries10/02/2011 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are 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.Developed country pharmaceutical companies today announced their support for an extension of the deadline for poor countries to comply with a global trade agreement on intellectual property rights that would significantly raise their obligations to protect IP. The extension idea has been proposed by the United Kingdom government in a new trade strategy document. The Geneva-based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) said in a release that the research-based pharmaceutical industry supports calls to extend the deadline for least-developed countries to comply with the provisions of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).TRIPS was concluded in 1994 and went into effect immediately on 1 January, 1995 for developed countries. Least-developed countries had a transition period of 10 years, until 2005, to comply. Despite resistance from some developed countries, in 2005 least-developed countries were extended to 2013. It had previously been extended until 2016 for pharmaceutical products (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 29 November 2005).Now there is discussion about giving the poorest countries even more time to adopt TRIPS. A number of least-developed countries have requested technical assistance in adopting laws to match TRIPS, but it is questionable whether many would meet the 2013 target. The proposal comes in the context of new momentum in the ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations at WTO.The UK government proposed the extension in a new trade and investment strategy paper issued this month [pdf, Section 3.88, p. 68].Once the deadline arrives for countries, they are expected to have implemented TRIPS and can be challenged by other members if they feel it is not adequately done. Since implementing TRIPS, India has seen challenges by foreign pharmaceutical companies at its national level for its implementation of TRIPS, but not yet at the WTO level. India meanwhile has started its own WTO dispute against the European Union for a law that led to seizures of legitimate generics from India.“We recognize the significant development challenges experienced by least-developed countries, and believe that an extension would be useful to allow for effective TRIPS implementation,” said David Brennan, president of the IFPMA and CEO of AstraZeneca. “Such an extension should be used to align implementation across all areas of technology, to ensure a consistent approach.”“Our industry continues to believe that effective intellectual property rights are a crucial component of long-term economic development within these countries, and international organizations and national bodies should continue to provide technical assistance, based on specific in-country needs,” he said.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."Pharma Backs Calls For Extension Of TRIPS Deadline For Least-Developed Countries" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.