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9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

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    Antigua Questions Efficacy Of WTO Dispute System Over IP-Related Case

    Published on 26 April 2014 @ 11:54 pm

    By and , Intellectual Property Watch

    Can the World Trade Organization’s smallest members use the dispute settlement system effectively? That is a question that seemed to be suggested by the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda at a WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting yesterday, in an intellectual property-related case involving a United States gambling ban.

    “So just what does this dispute resolution process do for a country such as Antigua and Barbuda?” a delegate asked in a prepared statement for the 25 April DSB meeting.

    “It seems,” the statement continued, “perhaps the harsh light of this prolonged action by one of the weakest against the strongest is on the verge of condemning the multilateral trading system established here some two decades ago as what its critics then feared – a vehicle by which the strong economies could extract concessions from the weak while at the same time effectively stone-walling – no, in fairness, denying – the ability of small economies to obtain any meaningful recourse when wronged by others.”

    Antigua and Barbuda’s statement, delivered by Dominica on its behalf, was on its case against the United States involving measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services. The source of its frustration is what it says is the US failure to comply with the WTO ruling the Caribbean nation won, and its inability to employ the allowed penalties against the US out of fear of recrimination.

    Jamaica made a statement supporting Antigua and Barbuda, noting in particular its belief that, “For all countries who rely on the rules-based Multilateral Trading System – Small Vulnerable Economies in particular – it is extremely important that the credibility of the Dispute Settlement Mechanism be preserved and strengthened through faithful implementation of decisions not undermined through non-compliance.”

    In exchange for US blocking of Antiguan gambling services in the US, Antigua has the right to not protect US$21 million worth of US intellectual property rights every year unless they mutually resolve the issue.

    The United States has done nothing to resolve the issue, has cast Antigua and Barbuda as an impediment in US efforts to alter commitments under the WTO services agreement, and has set the small nation up for harsh criticism for trying to use the remedy provided it by the WTO dispute panel, Antigua said.

    “Over 10 years of following the rules and prevailing, millions of dollars of cost and expense, hours upon hours of fruitless and frustrating attempts at negotiation – and what has the tiny, developing economy of Antigua and Barbuda gained from the process?” it said, noting that it is working on a programme extract the value of its lost business as approved by the DSB.

    “However, even recourse to this remedy of last resort has led to public statements and pronouncements, accusations that if the Antiguan government were to actually impose the suspension of concessions, somehow Antigua and Barbuda would be the outliers here, … would be moving beyond the pale, while at the same time the United States continues to ignore a decade-old ruling against it by this body.”

    “Further,” it said, “there is no doubt that the major economies of the world do not have to face the same fears and uncertainties when they – as they have indeed done – make their own recourse to such remedies.”

    The dispute dates back to 2003 when Antigua and Barbuda requested consultations with the US regarding measures applied by central, regional and local authorities in the US affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services from Antigua and Barbuda.

    The small country considered that the cumulative impact of the US measures was aimed at preventing the supply of gambling and betting services from another WTO members to the US, according to the WTO.

    In December 2007, the DSB’s arbitrator ruled that the annual level of nullification or impairment of benefits accruing to Antigua and Barbuda was US$21 million and that Antigua could request the authorisation from the DSB to suspend the country’s obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the same amount annually.

    At the DSB session of January 2013, according to the WTO, Antigua and Barbuda requested that the DSB authorise the suspension of concessions and obligations to the US in respect of IP rights. The DSB agreed to grant such authorisation. However, the authorisation had not been used so far by Antigua and Barbuda.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. The Copyright madness inflames the relationship between US and Antigua/Barbuda | IPrivacy4IT - Clarinette's blog says:

      […] Update 27/04/2014 : un going battle of the pot de terre contre le pot de fer. http://www.ip-watch.org/2014/04/26/antigua-questions-efficacy-of-wto-dispute-system-over-ip-related-… […]

    2. Antigua’s WTO dispute with United States proves might makes right in global trade | Bonus Republic says:

      […] Antigua Questions Efficacy Of WTO Dispute System Over IP-Related Case […]

    3. Dessalines says:

      How difficult is it for the WTO to refuse to hear future cases for parties that are not in compliance. Why should a small state like Antigua be put in a position to break US laws to force them to honour a WTO ruling.

      It’s simple, you refuse to comply, then you lose your rights to file future cases with the WTO or membership suspension.

    4. Antigua Questions Efficacy Of WTO Dispute System Over IP-Related Case | Import and Export Business Talk says:

      […] Antigua Questions Efficacy Of WTO Dispute System Over IP-Related Case Antigua and Barbuda's statement, delivered by Dominica on its behalf, was on its case against the United States involving measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services. … of nullification or impairment of benefits … Read more on Intellectual Property Watch […]

    5. Bark But No Bite? Antigua Talks Tough On WTO Gambling Case, But No TRIPS Remedy | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] Antigua again raised the question of whether the WTO dispute procedures are working, especially for small countries. This was the strong message at the last DSB meeting (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 26 April 2014). […]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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