High-Level Negotiations On LDC Pharma IP Waiver Extension At WTO30/10/2015 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Negotiations have been ongoing at the World Trade Organization over the extension of a waiver allowing least-developed countries not to grant or enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The issue was unsuccessfully debated at the last meeting of the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee earlier this month. Since then, discussions have been ongoing between the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group and the United States, apparently the last WTO member to resist the LDCs’ request.The discussions on the issue have reached ambassador level. According to sources, ambassadors from Nepal, Bangladesh and Uganda met with the US ambassador at the WTO on 28 October without finding consensus. They were expected to meet again yesterday, the sources said.At issue is the impending expiration on 1 January 2016 of a waiver for LDCs to enforce IP rights on pharmaceutical products under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). LDCs have requested an open-ended extension to apply to countries as long as they hold LDC status. Meanwhile, another general TRIPS waiver exists for LDCs until 2021.According to some sources, the US had proposed a 10-year extension in the negotiations, which was refused by the LDC Group.According to an LDC source, the purpose of the ambassadorial meetings is to find a solution that would take into account the interests of the LDCs and the concerns of the US.The US position, according to the source, is grounded in the fact that TRIPS Article 66.1 stipulates that the Council for the TRIPS “shall upon duly motivated request by a least-developed country Member, accord extensions of this period.” So the US does not see the point in granting an indefinite extension, the source said.The LDC benefit from a general IP waiver, running until 2021 but they would like to keep a separate exception for pharmaceutical products.According to the source, LDCs see no interest in dragging out the conversation any longer and would like to see a swift solution found.Once that solution has been found, the TRIPS Council is expected to resume so that a decision can be formally adopted.On 16 October, the WTO Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – which met on 15-16 October – was suspended for lack of agreement on the subject of the extension (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 17 October 2015).The LDC request has been supported by numerous organisations and countries. Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)RelatedCatherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."High-Level Negotiations On LDC Pharma IP Waiver Extension At WTO" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.