US rejects developing nations proposal on TRIPS

Rejects TRIPS amendment

Published: Saturday 15 July 2006

the us has rejected an amendment to the agreement on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (trips), which was recently proposed by a consortium of developing nations.

The amendment was proposed by India, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand, Tanzania, and later by China and Cuba. The consortium had wanted that the patent applicants should be mandated to disclose the use of any biological resources or associated traditional knowledge in their inventions. This means, anyone applying for a patent based on genetic resources or traditional knowledge would have to disclose the country or region from where they got the material. Victoria Espinel, a us trade representative in intellectual property, says the proposal was rejected because the amendment could affect a lot of us patents, particularly the biotech industry. But sources in the Union ministry of commerce and industry say the amendment would have put a curb on biopiracy and the uncompensated use of genetic resources. It is also meant to modify conditions for patent applicants set out in Article 29 of trips with the purpose of establishing a mutually supportive relationship between trips and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

New Delhi had also proposed to extend geographical indications -- indicators attributable to the geographical location from which a particular product originates -- to basmati rice and Darjeeling tea.

But the us and a number of European and Latin American countries are opposed to this. India is also insisting on sharing benefits arising out of the patent with the country of origin.

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