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The Negotiation and Implementation of IPR Provisions in Free Trade Agreements: Experiences and Lessons for Developing Countries

Organized by ICTSD, the World Bank Institute, and UNCTAD

World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, 16th April 2009

Description | Documents

Description

The World Bank Institute (WBI), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) held a Global Dialogue on TRIPS and Public Policy challenges: The Negotiation and Implementation of IPR provisions in Free Trade Agreements: Experiences and Lessons for Developing Countries on 16th April 2009 (9h30-17h00), at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Room C1 (7bis, avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva).

The purpose of the Dialogue was to contrast different experiences about implementation of intellectual property rights (IPR) provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs) with a view to draw useful lessons for developing countries in order to help them better prepare themselves for future negotiation and implementation of FTAs.

Background


Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of FTAs between developed and developing countries as the multilateral trade negotiations have stalled. The FTAs often contain ´TRIPS plus´ provisions, going beyond the commitments made in the WTO TRIPS Agreement. Two dimensions are of particular concern: the effects of TRIPS plus provisions on public policy objectives and the implementation of such provisions at the national level. Developing countries are facing the concurrent pressures of several groups that are pushing specific intellectual property (IP) interests, notably the USA and Europe.

The purpose of this dialogue was to contrast different experiences about implementation of IPR commitments taken in FTAs. As such, the specific focus of the dialogue was novel: to assess to what extent FTAs have triggered institutional and legislative changes in signatory developing countries, and how complex it was to undertake these reforms.

From the study and exchange of views regarding such implementation questions, the dialogue sought to draw useful lessons for developing countries in order to help them better prepare themselves for future negotiation and implementation of FTAs.

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