Monday, 7 September 2009

Brazil wins WTO award, threatens US IP

The World Trade Organization has upheld Brazil's complaint against the United States regarding the subsidies paid to US cotton farmers (see IP Tango here), which make it difficult for a large number of countries, championed by Brazil, to export their own produce to the world's most valuable market.

The two countries are now in dispute as to the value to Brazil of its victory. According to the Brazilians, this ruling entitles the country to about US$800 million in sanctions against the United States this year, of which US$340 million would be comprised of "cross-retaliation" against US intellectual property or services. The Americans disagree, asserting that the sanctions were worth only around USS$300 million and that Brazil would be unlikely in the near future to retaliate against US intellectual property rights.

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