Suspending IP Obligations under TRIPS: A Viable Alternative to Enforce Prevailing WTO Rulings?
WTO Dispute Settlement Policy Paper - Centre for International Environmental Law, 2008
15 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2008
Date Written: May 4, 2008
In two recent prominent disputes in the World Trade Organization (WTO), developing country complainants are using the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to induce compliance with favorable WTO rulings. Brazil in the US - Cotton dispute and Antigua in the US - Gambling case announced their intention to "cross-retaliate" against WTO-inconsistent measures of the US by suspending obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This approach can offer a practical alternative enforcement mechanism especially for developing countries and smaller economies in disputes against (industrialized) countries with significantly greater economic power in international trade. The concept has been explored in some academic writings and approved by WTO arbitrators in a recent US - Gambling decision and in response to Ecuador's retaliation request in the EC - Bananas III case. It is now time for a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and problems surrounding intellectual property (IP) cross-retaliation.
Keywords: WTO, Dispute Settlement, TRIPS, Cross Retaliation, TRIPS Suspension
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