Tripping up TRIPs debates
IP and Health in Bilateral Agreements
Name and affiliation
Université du Québec à Montréal/Université de Montpellier
Unisfera International Centre
2001 Marie Anne Est
H2H 1M5, Canada
Access to medicine is at the forefront of multilateral debates surrounding the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). This paper argues that bilateralism allows the United States to circumvent these debates and to set standards that serve and protect the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to the TRIPs requirements, recently-concluded US Free Trade Agreements (FTA) prescribe the patentability of new uses of known medicines, strengthen the protection of undisclosed data, extend the term of protection to compensate administrative procedures, prohibit some exceptions to the conferred rights, define circumstances for compulsory licensing, proscribe the doctrine of international exhaustion, and restrict the grounds for revocation. Although these “TRIPs-plus provisions” are not incompatible with the Doha Declaration on Public Health, they are additional barriers for the entry of generic medicines.
United States, bilateral, Free Trade Agreements, Health, TRIPs-plus, legal transplant, access to medicine, Doha Declaration.
Jean-Frédéric Morin is a PhD candidate at Université de Montpellier (Law) and the Université du Québec à Montréal (Political Science), research assistant at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (McGill University), as well as research associate at the Unisfera International Centre (Montréal) and the Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (Paris).