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The WTO US-China Panel Report: Findings and Implications for the Future of IPRs Enforcement

UNCTAD-ICTSD

World Meteorological Organization , Geneva, Switzerland, 23 February 2009

Description | Documents

Description

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.

Background

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 economy.

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 China’s obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

The panel’s 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 them.

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 issues involved.


The interventions by key experts were followed by a discussion with participants.

© ICTSD 2004 - Last Update: 05-Oct-2009