An international publishing organization has escalated the rhetoric over Bill C-11 by making veiled threats about a WTO complaint against Canada if the bill’s fair dealing provision remains unchanged. The signatories claim “there is a real possibility that a WTO complaint will be brought against Canada” if the fair dealing […]
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While China-based piracy is unquestionable a concern, Canada has too often used the issue to curry favour with the U.S. at the expense of developing the China relationship. In recent years, our support for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which deliberately excluded China) and now the Trans Pacific Partnership (which also excludes China) does little to help relations. China could be a strategic ally on global IP issues as both countries face significant external pressure for reform. While compliance with international rules should be the starting point for any dialogue, focusing on the flexibility that exists at international law to address domestic concerns is in both our interests.
The biggest Canadian blunder was the decision to join a U.S. complaint against China at the World Trade Organization in 2007 alleging that China’s domestic laws, border measures, and criminal penalties for intellectual property violations did not comply with its international treaty obligations. The case was a big loss. China was required to amend parts of its copyright law but on the big issues – border measures and IP enforcement – almost all of the contested laws were upheld as valid.
More interesting are the background documents that demonstrate that the Canadian government was unable to muster credible evidence of harm among Canadian companies.
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister has stated that his country will not accept attempts to change global IP policies outside of international organizations like the World Trade Organization. The comments arise out of India’s ongoing opposition to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
The SpicyIP Blog notes that Canada is one of several countries that have asked to join consultations on the World Trade Organization dispute between India and the EU over in-transit seizures of generic medicines (ie. seizures of the meds originating in India and traveling through Europe to another destination). The […]
The World Trade Organization has posted further information on last week's Council meeting where India, China, and other developing countries raised concerns with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The report notes the following:
Briefly, China’s and India’s lengthy statements argued that ACTA and other agreements could:
- Conflict with TRIPS Agreement (a reference to TRIPS Art.1.1) and other WTO agreements, and cause legal uncertainty
- Undermine the balance of rights, obligations and flexibilities that were carefully negotiated in the various WTO agreements
- Distort trade or create trade barriers, and disrupt goods in transit or transhipment
- Undermine flexibilities built into TRIPS (such as for public health, and trade in generic medicines)
- Undermine governments’ freedom to allocate resources on intellectual property by forcing them to focus on enforcement
- Set a precedent that would require regional and other agreements to follow suit. (One example cited was negotiations involving CARIFORUM, the group of Caribbean states. However, a delegation representing CARIFORUM said it understood the concerns but denied that CARIFORUM would have to apply ACTA’s provisions.)
They also argued that the focus on enforcement did not take into account a country’s level of development. A number of developing countries broadly supported the concern.