This week in review … Push for TRIPS amendment continues, DG asked to lead the process

25 11 2008

Push for TRIPS Changes Reaches Highest Level at WTO as Meetings Intensify

IP Watch, 21 November 2008

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Proponents of amending the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement to increase protection for biodiversity and for geographically-specific products are insisting Director General Pascal Lamy himself lead the process for resolving the issues. Meetings on intellectual property issues have been held periodically throughout the week, including Friday, and will continue next week, according to sources. A procedural decision on three intellectual property (IP) issues is expected next week, one source said. The IP amendments relate to the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, and include a proposal to amend TRIPS to include mandatory disclosure of origin on genetic resources used in patent applications (and, possibly, a guarantee of prior informed consent of communities who own the resources) – referred to as the TRIPS/CBD amendment as it is inspired by provisions in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They also include a proposal to extend high-level protection of geographical indications – or products associated with a particular place and characteristics – on wines and spirits to other goods, an initiative referred to as “GI extension.”

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