The World Trade Organisation (WTO) this week extended the deadline it's offered the world's “least developed nations” to get their house in order with regards to observation of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). TRIPS sets out standards of copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret …
Hopefully it will be irrelevant by then. OK, I'm dreaming, but hopefully it will be extended again (and again).
Plenty of time for the western legal beagles to get their cases ready for when the ban is lifted and they can charge in and sue everyone who hasn't sorted themselves out. Just imagine hordes of lawyers in open top jeeps tearing down dusty tracks to towns, all the time waving fistfuls of paper!
Alan Story's "Copy/South Dossier"
Well worth reading for anyone interested in the impact which Western copyright policies can have on less developed countries:
(The dossier is both Free and free — they'll even send you a hard copy (if they have any left) for nothing, and would not accept a donation...)
WTO decission also allows to roll back too far reaching Intellectual property rights on seeds
In my view one of the main gains of the reached agreement at the WTO is that the controversial "no-role back clause" has been taken out.
Now the governments of countries like Tanzania are able to positively respond to critic of civil society groups and farmers organisations and to roll back too far reaching Intellectual property rights on seeds [ http://allafrica.com/stories/201304160112.html ] , or on other goods like medicine and educational materials
For example just 2 month ago Tanzanian farmers’ organizations and civil society organizations working on farmers’ rights, agricultural biodiversity and agroecology, raise the concerned about new seed laws which might grant too far reaching intellectual property rights on seeds
Their statement can be found here:
[ http://www.scribd.com/doc/147792593/Tanzanian-Civil-Society-Statement-on-Farmers-Rights-22-March-2013 ]
However the question remains if Least Developed Countries indeed will dare to use the new WTO flexibilities against the will of the countries which originally opposed it, like the EU and the US.
Burghard Ilge , Both ENDS