African Civil Society Outcry Over ARIPO’s Closed Decision-Making On Health And IP 22/11/2018 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 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)As the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Administrative Council meets this week, more than 60 civil society groups are calling for greater inclusion and more transparency on access to medicines and diagnostics. Signatories are asking for a review of the Harare Protocol on patents and industrial designs, and raised concern about over-reliance on advice of the United Nations intellectual property agency for decisions affecting broader public health in the region. The 42nd ARIPO Administrative Council is taking place from 19-23 November in Namibia. The letter [pdf] to ARIPO was co-signed by 62 African civil society and public interest groups. It says that although the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) includes public health safeguards through flexibilities to IP rights, “many of these public health safeguards are not implemented and are even undermined due to existing gaps with the provisions of the Harare Protocol.” Among those gaps, the letter identifies the exclusion of all least-developed countries from the requirement to grant or enforce pharmaceutical patents until 2033, and the adoption of more stringent standards of patentability that exclude patents on new uses, new formulations and new forms of known medicines and health technologies. Implementing those reforms, the letter said, will help improve access to many important medicines. The letter further expresses concern that ARIPO “appears to rely extensively or perhaps even exclusively on the World Intellectual Property Organization,” adding that despite formal requests there have been no access to WIPO-commissioned reports being developed on behalf of ARIPO member states. The co-signatories refer to drafts of a “Comparative Study of Industrial Property Laws of ARIPO Member States,” and say they are “alarmed at this lack of transparency.” 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 "African Civil Society Outcry Over ARIPO’s Closed Decision-Making On Health And IP" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.