Thursday, 19 June 2008

Brazil plans to plunder US patents if cotton subsidy is held unlawful

Carlos Caminada (Bloomberg) reports that cotton-grower Brazil is to pursue $4 billion in sanctions against US patents and business services in retaliation against subsidies paid to US cotton farmers in the event that the World Trade Organization (WTO) supports the Brazilian government's proposal. Although it might seem premature, given that no decision has yet been taken, Brazilian officials from several ministries are reportedly already deciding which patent payments to suspend.

Last year the WTO gave Antigua and Barbuda free rein to infringe US IP rights to the value of $21 million after upholding the islands' complaint against US trading policies regarding online casino websites (see here).

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