U.S., Andean Negotiators Dodge Toughest IP Issues For Now 21/03/2005 by William New, 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)Washington, D.C.–U.S. and Andean negotiators last week discussed several intellectual property issues but saved the most difficult ones for the next round, a senior U.S. trade official said Monday. Regina Vargo, assistant U.S. trade representative for the Americas and the lead U.S. negotiator, said that in talks between the United States and the Andean countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, the most difficult intellectual property issues, such as pharmaceutical patents, were not taken up in the round of negotiations ending on Friday. Other tough issues to come include traditional knowledge and genetic resources, she said. The Andean countries’ ministers of health issued a statement on 1 March declaring that any agreement reached with the United States must be in the spirit of the World Trade Organisation Doha Declaration. That declaration said governments must be able to act to protect public health, such as providing access to medicines, when necessary. Concern about this has been raised by some opponents to recently completed bilateral agreements with the United States. Vargo, in a telephone press briefing, said this eighth round of talks, held in Washington, focused on five areas: the structure of the agreement, investment, intellectual property rights, rules of origin, and agriculture. The intellectual property issues discussed were copyright enforcement, trademarks, and geographic indications (food names derived from geographic locations), Vargo said. No agreement was reached in these areas, and no further details were available at presstime. Negotiators most likely will take up the more difficult intellectual property issues at the next round in Lima, Peru from 18-22 April, she said. Vargo said that on some issues like traditional knowledge, the two sides are trying to better understand each other’s system and look for “areas of commonality.” On geographic indications, Vargo said last week’s report by a World Trade Organisation dispute settlement panel provided support for the U.S. position on geographic indications, and she expected that might play into the Andean negotiations. In that decision, the panel found that the European Union should fairly consider non-EU geographic indications. A U.S. example might be Idaho potatoes. Another topic raised by the Andeans was technology transfer. Vargo said there was a discussion on this “priority” issue for the Andeans which led to a better understanding for the United States. She said the issue, which involves facilitating scientific discussions among the nations, has come up in U.S. State Department dealings in the past, but it does not involve controls on U.S. exports of sensitive products or knowledge. Vargo said there is not a fixed timeframe for completion of the Andean talks. 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 "U.S., Andean Negotiators Dodge Toughest IP Issues For Now" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.