WTO TRIPS discuss revised IPR waiver proposal
New Delhi: The World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Council to discuss a revised proposal submitted by 62 co-sponsors, including India, South Africa and Indonesia, seeking patent waivers for make medical products linked to COVID-19, an official said.
In October 2020, India and South Africa had submitted the first proposal suggesting a waiver for all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. related to the prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19.
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS entered into force in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on intellectual property (IP) rights such as copyright. , industrial designs, patents and the protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.
According to the revised proposal, the waiver should be in effect for at least three years from the date of the decision on the matter. The co-authors said the duration must be practical for manufacturing to be feasible and viable.
“The revised proposal will now be discussed in the TRIPS Council,” the official added.
The revised text proposes a waiver for health products and technologies because the prevention, treatment or containment of COVID-19 which involves a range of things and “intellectual property issues can also arise with regard to products and technologies , their materials or components, as well as their methods and means of manufacture. ”
The co-sponsors stressed that the proposed exemption is limited to the prevention, treatment and containment of COVID-19. “The international community is faced with a new pathogen, with many uncertainties.
“For example, research is still ongoing to find effective therapeutics, and there are still many unknowns regarding vaccines that will affect the scale of manufacturing and supply that will be required to control the pandemic,” such as the duration of immunity conferred, the effectiveness of vaccines against new variants, and the effect of vaccines on children, ”the submission said.
The communication was presented by these countries to the WTO on Friday. The communication was distributed at the request of the delegations of the African Group, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Egypt, Eswatini, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kenya, the Group of LDCs (least developed countries), Maldives, Mozambique, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Commenting on the revised proposal, Biswajit Dhar, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the final decision on it will put moral pressure on WTO member countries to share methods and means manufacturing products and vaccines to fight COVID-19.