The TRIPs Agreement and Pharmaceuticals. Report of an ASEAN Workshop on the TRIPs Agreement and its Impact on Pharmaceuticals. Jakarta, 2-4 May 2000
(2000; 91 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
View the documentLIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
View the documentEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
View the documentI. INTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsII. GENERAL ISSUES
Close this folderIII. TECHNICAL ISSUES
View the document3.1 General overview of the TRIPs Agreement
View the document3.2 Standards for patentability
View the document3.3 Compulsory license
View the document3.4 Parallel import
View the document3.5 Exceptions to the exclusive rights
View the document3.6 Enforcement
View the document3.7 Opposition procedures
View the document3.8 Increasing access to HIV/AIDS drugs - Thailand’s experience
View the document3.9 Undisclosed information
View the document3.10 Trademarks, public health and drugs
View the document3.11 State practice and WTO participation
View the document3.12 TRIPs Review
Open this folder and view contentsIV. SPECIAL ISSUES
View the documentV. ISSUES DISCUSSED IN WORKING GROUPS
View the documentVI. RECOMMENDATIONS
Open this folder and view contentsANNEXES
 

3.11 State practice and WTO participation

When a WTO dispute arises, obviously the parties to the dispute can present their arguments (complaint and defense) to the Panel concerned. But other WTO members can also make submissions when they have a trade interest in the case. For instance in the case of the EU complaint against Canada on the Bolar provision, a number of countries, including some developing countries such as Colombia, made submissions for the consideration of the Panel. Such active participation by developing countries in the WTO is important, since it will draw attention to their policy objectives and it will highlight possible implications from their perspective; these factors will be taken into consideration by the Panel.

Similarly, state practice is important when a decision is taken by a Panel or Appellate Body. This means that the kind of legislation countries adopt in order to implement the Agreement will create precedents that may influence decisions by WTO Panels and the Appellate Body. If for instance all the ASEAN countries adopt provisions related to the protection of public health, this will create a kind of state practice which the Panels will need to consider. According to the Vienna Convention, one of the elements to be taken into account for the interpretation of international agreements, is the way in which countries have applied a particular treaty.

It is therefore important to consider that what is done at the national level may also have an impact in terms of interpretation of the Agreement. If countries use a very limited, strict interpretation of the TRIPs Agreement, Panels will look at TRIPs issues in the same ‘narrow’ way, but if countries use a broader interpretation, the Panels and Appellate Body may read the TRIPs Agreement in the same way.

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