WTO General Council Agrees To 2-Year Extension For TRIPS Health Amendment Acceptance30/11/2017 by William New, 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 and its Health Policy Watch are non-profit independent news services and depend on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.The World Trade Organization General Council today agreed to a two-year extension for countries to adopt an amendment to the agency’s intellectual property agreement intended to help small economies get affordable medical products. But a decision on non-violation complaints will be left to the December WTO ministerial in Buenos Aires. The General Council is the WTO’s highest decision-making body in Geneva, meeting regularly at the ambassador level. The 11th WTO trade ministerial conference will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 10-13 December.TRIPS Public Health AmendmentA 2005 amendment to the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) codified a waiver to TRIPS patent protections to allow more medical products produced under compulsory licence to be exported to small countries that lack manufacturing capabilities.The amendment is often referred to as the “Paragraph 6” system, referring to paragraph 6 of the 2001 Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. A temporary waiver was agreed on 30 August 2003, and was then approved without change as the first and only amendment to the TRIPS agreement on 6 December 2005.Two-thirds of WTO members need to accept this protocol by formally ratifying it. Yet with new entries to the WTO, this has been a moving target. The WTO list of members who have accepted the amendment is here.Non-Violation ComplaintsMeanwhile, the Council did not resolve a question of whether to extend a moratorium keeping TRIPS out of disputes between WTO members in which one accuses another of harming their expected benefits despite not having technically violated a WTO agreement.The current longstanding moratorium on such “non-violation complaints” is set to expire at the December ministerial.The issue will now go directly to Buenos Aires for ministers to try and solve it, unless something happens before in Geneva, which seems very unlikely, an informed source said.Switzerland and the United States have sought to end the moratorium, but some other countries have shown reluctance (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 20 October 2017).There was no debate in the Council on the issues today, the source said, but rather members were informed by the General Council chair. Image Credits: WTOShare 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)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."WTO General Council Agrees To 2-Year Extension For TRIPS Health Amendment Acceptance" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.