WTO Discussions On Non-Violation Complaints Might Be Near Consensus, Sources Say 17/11/2015 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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)Last month, the World Trade Organization committee on intellectual property was suspended over two contentious items. One item left open is the proposed extension of a moratorium which leaves intellectual property outside of a mechanism through which one WTO member can go after another despite no violation of a WTO agreement. According to sources, a solution might be within reach. The other item was the extension of a waiver for least-developed countries, which reached conclusion earlier this month (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 6 November 2015). The moratorium on non-violation complaints, which refer to situations were country A can start a dispute with country B if country A feels that country B has taken an action depriving A from expected trade benefits, even without having breached any WTO rules, is coming to an end in December. The majority of WTO members are in favour of extending the moratorium indefinitely while the United States and Switzerland in the Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) have been resisting it. According to sources, proponents of the indefinite extension of the moratorium have been regularly meeting with the United States and Switzerland since the last TRIPS Council (15-16 October) and a solution might be soon found. A meeting is expected to take place tomorrow morning with the US and Switzerland to continue to try to find a solution, according to a source. If there is agreement, the TRIPS Council session would then be reconvened to approve a recommendation to be given to the WTO Ministerial Conference next month. A target might be to do it before the 30 November General Council meeting, a source said. US Fair Use Exceptions at Risk? According to a letter recently sent by James Love of Knowledge Ecology International to negotiator George York at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, there are concerns that non-violation complaints “will put US fair use exceptions for copyright exceptions at risk, given how liberally the exceptions have been used by the public, libraries, educators, students, users of social networks, and by search engines.” Non-violation complaints might also “make it unclear what countries can do to use exceptions to patent rights or measures like price controls to have access to affordable medicines,” the letter said. “This would include the proposals by Senator Sanders to change the way drugs are acquired by the Veterans Administration, the 340B program for drug discounts, and some proposed reforms of the registration procedures for biologic drugs, including proposals to require more transparency of manufacturing know how,” KEI said in the letter. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WTO Discussions On Non-Violation Complaints Might Be Near Consensus, Sources Say" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.