WTO Committee Agrees To Keep IP From Non-Violation Complaints Until 2017 23/11/2015 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)Today, the World Trade Organisation intellectual property committee agreed on a recommendation to extend until 2017 a moratorium shielding intellectual property from a mechanism through which one WTO member can go after another member even in the absence of WTO rules infringement. The recommendation will head to the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December for approval. The Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was suspended last month as WTO members could not agree whether the moratorium should be lifted, or if it should be extended indefinitely. The United States and Switzerland were against extending the moratorium indefinitely (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 19 November 2015). The agreed recommendation reads as follows: “We take note of the work done by the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights pursuant to our Decision of 7 December 2013 on “TRIPS Non-Violation and Situation Complaints” (WT/L/906), and direct it to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and make recommendations to our next Session, which we have decided to hold in 2017. It is agreed that, in the meantime, Members will not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement.” The TRIPS Council was reconvened this morning for this purpose. According to a source, the US and Switzerland agreed to the two-year extension without prejudice to their position. The moratorium first agreed in 1995 was to expire in 1999, but has been extended ever since. According to several sources, historically, some WTO members link the extension of the non-violation complaints moratorium to the extension to a moratorium on electronic commerce (e-commerce). According to the WTO website, “The e-commerce moratorium means that members will not charge import duties on electronic transmissions.” The e-commerce moratorium is expiring this year and its possible extension is being negotiated at the WTO General Council. The next session of the General Council is expected to take place on 30 November-1 December, according to sources. According to several sources, the adoption of the moratorium on non-violation complaints might ease the decision on extending the e-commerce moratorium. 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 Committee Agrees To Keep IP From Non-Violation Complaints Until 2017" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.