Policy Space for Domestic Public Interest Measures under TRIPS

South Centre Research Paper No.22

55 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010

See all articles by Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan

Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Date Written: July 21, 2009

Abstract

This paper examines the scope of policy space available to integrate economic, social and environmental concerns under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Protection (TRIPS). It does this by comparing the amount of discretion available for domestic public interest measures in two other core areas of WTO regulation: trade in goods and services. The paper concludes that the notion of general exceptions under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and under the General Agreement on Services (GATS) finds no equivalence in TRIPS. Still, an equivalent amount of policy space can be achieved by taking the TRIPS balancing objective and the WTO sustainable development objective seriously within the process of TRIPS interpretation and implementation. This opens significant room to integrate economic, social and environmental concerns in Intellectual Property (IP) regulation and decision-making. It is an approach which all WTO Members agreed to in para. 4, 5 a) of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.

Keywords: WTO, TRIPS, Flexibilities, Sustainable Development

Suggested Citation

Grosse Ruse-Khan, Henning, Policy Space for Domestic Public Interest Measures under TRIPS (July 21, 2009). South Centre Research Paper No.22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1542542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1542542

Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

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