ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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EU-Canada Patents Row

The dispute between Canada and the European Union on patent protection of pharmaceutical products in which India was associated as a third party, is of considerable significance. It recognises the import of India's arguments which lay stress on the basic principle of national treatment embodied in the various intellectual property right conventions.

The report of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel released as an unrestricted document in March on the dispute between Canada and European Union (EU) on ‘Patent Protection of Pharmaceutical Products’ is of great importance to India because of two reasons. First, the subject on process and product patenting of pharmaceuticals in India has already become important, because the Indian Patent Act 1970 does not conform to the norms laid in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The amendment to the Indian Patent Act and Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Bill 1999 have been referred to the 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee for their recommendations to conform to the TRIPS agreement as much as possible keeping the Indian interests at the uppermost before final implementation as an act.

Second, India associated itself with the Canada-EU dispute as a third party by virtue of which it laid out its case before the panel, which has been incorporated in the report. It shows that India is considered to be a leader of the developing countries when it comes to dealing with controversial issues arising out of multilateral trade. It has therefore, to be doubly careful in deciding on the IPR, so that other developing countries do not suffer.

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