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The Substantive Patent Law Treaty: The Dangers of Global Patent Policy Harmonization (No. 11)

USD 6.00 Publisher: TWN
ISBN: 978-967-5412-01-1
Year: 2009
No. of pages: 40
Size of book: 16.5cm x 24cm
Author: Sangeeta Shashikant
About the Book

Negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to draw up a Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) have long been bogged down by differences among WIPO member states over the scope and orientation of the agreement. As part of efforts to break the negotiating deadlock, WIPO convened an open forum in Geneva on 1-3 March 2006 to discuss the major issues which lie at the heart of the debate surrounding the SPLT.

While the forum did not lead to a resolution of the impasse, the discussions that took place there shed light on the import and potential impacts of a treaty which would harmonize patent norms the world over.

In this compilation of articles on the WIPO forum, originally written for the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS), Sangeeta Shashikant reports that many of the participating experts cautioned against global harmonization of patent laws based on the loose patentability criteria and strict protection standards of the developed countries. If effected under an SPLT, such a move, it is feared, would “export a dysfunctional system to the rest of the world”. These and other issues raised in the forum should be borne in mind in dealing with any attempts to revive the SPLT negotiations or to harmonize national patent regimes through other means.  

About the Author

SANGEETA SHASHIKANT is a Legal Adviser to the Third World Network as well as the Coordinator of the TWN office in Geneva.

  1. “Exporting a Dysfunctional System”
    “Pulling up the ladder”
    Access and predictability
    Prior art
    Disclosure of origin of genetic resources

  2. Basic Problems and Practical Difficulties
    Disclosure disharmony
    Exclusions from patentability  
    Exceptions to patent rights

  3. Patents on Genes, Lifeforms and Medicines
    Biotech patents
    Access to medicines
    Software patents

Annex: The Impact on Patentability Criteria

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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 16 January, 2012.

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