Position Statement of 5 July 2022 on the Decision of the WTO Ministerial Conference on the TRIPS Agreement adopted on 17 June 2022

11 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2022

See all articles by Reto Hilty

Reto Hilty

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; University of Zurich; Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Daria Kim

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Juan I. Correa

WIPO Academy & University of Turin Master of Laws in Intellectual Property 2017/2018

Pedro Henrique D. Batista

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Matthias Lamping

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Date Written: July 5, 2022

Abstract

On 17 June 2022, after nearly one and a half years of intense debate concerning the proposal to waive IP protection in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization adopted a decision on the TRIPS Agreement. It has not waived any intellectual property rights as such but instead mainly clarified the application of the existing TRIPS flexibilities, in particular, regarding compulsory licensing of patents. The Position Statement shows that the Ministerial Decision makes no substantive difference in the existing international legal framework, except for lifting the limitation on the exportation of vaccines manufactured in accordance with the Decision. To the extent that the Decision can make the application of TRIPS flexibilities more expedient, it is to be welcomed. At the same time, it is argued that such facilitating effect should not be limited to, or justified by, the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. More critically, it should not be restricted to COVID-19 vaccines, of which there is currently no shortage – rather, the same level of TRIPS flexibilities should apply to all medicinal products needed to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, IP waiver, TRIPS flexibilities, Ministerial decision, WTO

Suggested Citation

Hilty, Reto and Kim, Daria and Correa, Juan I. and Batista, Pedro Henrique D. and Lamping, Matthias, Position Statement of 5 July 2022 on the Decision of the WTO Ministerial Conference on the TRIPS Agreement adopted on 17 June 2022 (July 5, 2022). Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 22-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4166573 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4166573

Reto Hilty (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

University of Zurich

Rämistrasse 74/7
Zürich, CH-8001
Switzerland

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Munich, 80539
Germany

Daria Kim

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Juan I. Correa

WIPO Academy & University of Turin Master of Laws in Intellectual Property 2017/2018 ( email )

Pedro Henrique D. Batista

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Matthias Lamping

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

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