TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Sept09/12)
23 September 2009
Third World Network

No. 41   22 September 2009

Published by the South Centre (


This issue of South Bulletin focuses on recent developments and controversies in intllectual property.  We hope it will be timely because of the WIPO General Assemblies starting on 22 September in Geneva.

The legitimacy of the IP system depends on the correct balance between the public interest and the private privilege given to the IP holders. This balance has been disrupted by a one-size-fits-all global regime in the TRIPS agreement. 

Yet TRIPS has some flexibilities that can be used. Recently, developed countries have been promoting a TRIPS-Plus agenda that reduces or removes TRIPS flexibilities. 

Their IP enforcement programme has resulted in legitimate generic drugs of developing countries being seized in European ports while in transit to other developing countries. 

At WIPO, the developed countries are also trying to move towards a system of "global patents", in which approval of a patent in a few developed countries will almost automatically mean approval in other countries, unless there is explicit rejection.  This would remove the flexibilities and powers of developing countries' authorities.

Thus the developing countries have not accepted the TRIPS-plus proposals and are protesting against the actions on generic medicines.

The South Bulletin discusses IP Rights and Wrongs and has articles on the row over generic drug seizures, the recent controversies at the WIPO meeting on Patent Cooperation Treaty, the TRIPS-Plus enforcement agenda, and the move towards a "global IP infrastructure."

To read the Bulletin, see the attached PDF file.

Or else, click here on the following link:

For the South Centre (home page) link:

With best wishes

Martin Khor

Executive Director, South Centre

Editor, South Bulletin

The contents of the South Bulletin No. 41 are:

  • Intellectual Property Rights & Wrongs
  • Row Over Seizure of Low-cost Drugs Exposes Dangers of TRIP-Plus Measures
  • Seizures of Drugs in Transit: Why Europe’s Law and Actions are Wrong
  • Suggested PCT Reforms Could Lead to a World Patent System
  • PCT Reforms & Implications for Developing Countries
  • Concerns of WIPO's Developing-country Members and its Corporate Customers Differ
  • Need to Guard Against TRIPS-Plus Enforcement Agenda
  • “Global IP Infrastructure” and Harmonized Patent Administration