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TRIPS pact won't cover medical devices


Date: 24-04-2020
Subject: TRIPS pact won't cover medical devices
New Delhi: A senior World Trade Organisation official has cautioned against countries pursuing policies of import substitution, which will be harmful to global trade. He said there is no proposal at present to amend the global agreement on intellectual property but patents and rights over clinical trial data could be significant factors in creation and dissemination of new technologies to combat Covid-19.

The official told ET that countries pursuing policies of import substitution will be harmful to global trade. Fracturing supply chains will worsen the situation because sources of supply would be reduced and more exposed to localised risks. “Intellectual property - particularly patents, know-how and rights over clinical trial data - may be a significant factor in facilitating access to existing technologies, and in supporting the creation and dissemination of new technologies,” the official said ..

However, no further amendment has been proposed on these lines. “Up until now, no member has suggested changes but the review in October could be used by members as an occasion to reassess the operation of the system, including how it functions in a pandemic,” WTO chief spokesperson Keith Rockwell told ET.

Compulsory licences can be granted for manufacturing and importing purposes by all WTO members and can cover all kinds of patented products or technologies needed to combat Covid-19, provided that the licence is primarily used to serve the domestic market while the remaining part of the production can be exported. TRIPS Agreement amendment differs from normal compulsory licences.

Source:- economictimes.indiatimes.com

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