US Chamber of Commerce lauds USPTO for securing a time-bound LDC waiver for pharmaceutical products

Knowledge Ecology International; November 12, 2015. Nestled at the end Intellectual Property Watch’s (IP-Watch) brilliant reportage of a US Chamber of Commerce event – “Has the Sun Set on Multilateral Rulemaking on IP?” – is a quote by Patrick Kilbride (Executive Director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center) praising the efforts of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in WTO negotiations on the LDC waiver for pharmaceutical products.

IP-Watch reported,

Separately, Chamber Global IP Center Executive Director Patrick Kilbride offered an editorial comment as panel moderator. He said to US negotiator Salmon: “We want thank you and your colleagues for securing a time-limited LDC waiver on implementation of pharmaceutical aspects of TRIPS. If there’s one core issue … in the multilateral space, it’s to end the perpetuation of the notion that intellectual property is somehow a barrier to access to innovative products or to development.”“Telling developing nations not to implement IP is like telling them not to build roads and ports,” Kilbride said. “It’s nonsense and we appreciate your leadership.” (Source, IP-Watch, Governments, Industry Offer Mixed Hope For Multilateral IP Policymaking, November 11, 2015)

This telling remark by the U.S. Chamber provides some insight into the hardline position adopted by the US government and its negotiators in Geneva (led by USTR Ambassador Michael Punke) in marked contrast to the positions of the LDCs, developing countries, Norway, the European Union and a host of UN agencies including UNDP, UNAIDS and WHO.

As noted by the Holy See at last Friday, November 6, 2015, following the adoption of the new, time-bound waiver,

As already stated by my Delegation, a time-limited transition period creates an uncertain environment for the producers of affordable medicines, procurement agencies, and donors, as well as for LDC governments, all of which rely on the specific pharmaceutical transition period to produce and import affordable medicines. This, in turn, jeopardizes the health situation of the people and communities within LDCs, and results in especially adverse consequences for the scaling up of HIV treatment.
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