Review of Patent Legislation of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Measures to Safeguard Public Health
(2004; 76 pages)


The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is one of the Agreements of the World Trade Organization which is being debated worldwide by civil society and also by certain inter-governmental organizations. The major focus of the debate is on the accessibility and affordability of medicines in developing countries. The World Health Organization’s Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) has held several regional and sub-regional meetings on the subject of potential impact on the access to essential drugs, specifically in developing countries. It also organized a review of Patent Legislation of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand with the objective of identifying measures necessary to safeguard public health interests. The patent legislations of these countries have been examined keeping in view the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration for public health.. The relevant components of the patent laws which could safeguard public health have been identified as follows:

  1. Defining scope of patentability in relation to pharmaceutical substances and , defining inventions which are not patentable for ensuring that frivolous claims are not entertained.
  2. Including provisions for voluntary licenses, compulsory licences and authorization of rights within the parameters of the Paris Convention, TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on public health and addressing appropriateness of royalty payments.
  3. Providing for parallel imports, export of patented products and appropriate pricing of patented products.
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