Trade Wars in the TRIPS Council: Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and Climate Change
Panagiotis Delimatsis (ed.), Research Handbook on Climate Change and Trade Law, Cheltenham (UK) and Northampton (Mass.): Edward Elgar, 2016.
Posted: 11 May 2016
Date Written: May 8, 2016
This Chapter considers the geopolitical conflicts in respect of intellectual property, trade, and climate change in the TRIPS Agreement 1994 under the World Trade Organization (WTO). In particular, it focuses upon debates in the TRIPS Council on the topic of patent law and clean energy in 2013 and 2014. The chapter highlights the development agenda of a number of developing countries who are keen for access to clean energy to combat climate change and global warming. It also considers the mixed contributions of members of the BRICS/ BASIC group – including Brazil, India, China, and South Africa. This chapter highlights the intellectual property maximalist position of a number of developed countries on intellectual property, climate change, and trade. Seeking to overcome this conflict and stalemate, this Chapter puts forward both procedural and substantial reform options in respect of intellectual property, trade, and climate change in the TRIPS Council and the WTO. It also flags that the TRIPS Agreement 1994 could well be displaced by the rise of mega-regional trade agreements – such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Keywords: World Trade Organization, TRIPS Agreement 1994, TRIPS Council, Patent Law, Trade, Climate Change, Clean Energy, Technology Transfer, Renewable Energy, Clean Technologies, Geopolitics, International Relations.
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation