The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
(ICTSD) held a roundtable on The WTO US-China Panel Report:
Findings and Implications for the Future of IPRs Enforcement,
on Monday 23rd February 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The objective of the roundtable was to examine the findings
of the panel report in the WTO US-China dispute (Measures Affecting
the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights)
and discuss its implications for the future of IPRs enforcement.
The enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has
gained prominence in recent years on the global trade and intellectual
property agenda. A number of initiatives and developments in
this area at the global, regional and bilateral level carry
wide reaching implications for the regulation of the knowledge
In this context, the United States initiated, in April 2007,
a WTO case against China, claiming that a number of Chinese
measures and laws were inadequate for the effective enforcement
of IPRs and were inconsistent with Chinas obligations
under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS).
The panels findings in this dispute were highly anticipated
as it involved the interpretation by a WTO panel, for the first
time, of a number of key TRIPS provisions on enforcement, such
as Article 61, which requires countries to provide criminal
penalties for trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on
a commercial scale without a clear definition of
what this constitutes.
After a year of review of the claims and complaints involved,
the WTO panel released its report on 26 January, 2009.
The main objective of the roundtable was to examine the findings
of the panel in the US-China dispute and the reasoning behind
The roundtable also examined the implications of the panel
report for the future of IPRs enforcement and for efforts to
achieve a balanced and development oriented implementation of
the TRIPS Agreement.
UNCTAD and ICTSD invited for this occasion a number of distinguished
scholars and experts to provide analysis and opinions on the
The interventions by key experts were followed by a discussion