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What are the future issues under consideration relating to TRIPS?

What are the future issues under consideration relating to TRIPS?

Some of the issues that are under debate relating to TRIPS are –

• The effectiveness of the 2003 “waiver” in the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The waiver in Doha Declaration removes a requirement that generics produced under compulsory license should be mainly for the domestic market. This would hinder their export to countries that cannot make the medicines. The TRIPS Agreement has been amended in 2005 to include these provisions in it, but the amendment has not come into force as most Members have not ratified it so far. In addition, the mechanism established in the 2003 waiver for providing affordable medicines to poor countries does not seem to have worked as only one case of its use exists (where Rwanda obtained medicines from Canada), and that too has not been very successful. WTO members are reviewing this provision.

• The TRIPS Agreement has a built in review of the provisions relating to patenting of life forms. The current provision obliges members not to exclude from their patent regime microorganisms and nonbiological and microbiological processes. It also obliges Members to protect plant varieties either through patents or through a sui generis system (of its own kind) or a combination thereof. This review has not been concluded even though it started in 1999.

• Protection of the innovations of indigenous and local farming communities and the continuation of the traditional farming practices including the right to save, exchange seeds, and sell their harvest

• Protection of the rights of indigenous communities and prevent any private monopolistic intellectual property claims over their traditional knowledge.

• Grant of the same level of protection of geographical indications in other products as is granted to wines and spirits.

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