Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Brazil gets closer to listing US IP retaliation targets

In "Brazil Issues Retaliation List of US Products; IP-Protected Items In Next Round", Intellectual Property Watch's Clauda Jurberg relates that Brazil has now announced the list of 222 American products that could suffer retaliation with tariff rates of more than 100 percent of the value when imported to Brazil. This list could be followed by another, including potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in non-tariff items related to intellectual property rights such as lower-priced patented pharmaceuticals. The retaliation was authorised by the World Trade Organization following the refusal of the United States to address problems raised by Brazil's complaint about US protection of its cotton crop from competition through foreign imports. According to the article,
"Cross-retaliation (retaliation in a trade area other than the one in violation) is permissible under WTO rules and could be used to lower prices on patented pharmaceuticals. According to the Camex [Câmara do Comércio Exterior -- the Brazilian Board of Trade] executive secretary, the second stage sanctions involving exceptions to patents on drugs and more tariffs in services only will occur after the implementation of the first product tariffs. And a public consultation also will be held. Exceptions to patents such as compulsory licences already are permitted under WTO rules, but could be made easier through WTO sanctions.

The National Institute of Intellectual Property ..., under the Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce, is awaiting instructions to participate in a discussion on creation of a list of patent exceptions. The technical staff from the institute do not yet have details on retaliation in the area of intellectual property.

On 10 December, there will be a meeting of seven ministries involved with this subject and Camex. During this meeting, they will analyse the public suggestions to list. Of the content of these 222 products, the list includes food, medicine, medical equipment, cotton, appliances, cosmetics, and accessories for vehicles. According the Commerce Ministry, the total value of the list is $2.7 billion, and some products may be excluded".
The 222-item retaliation list can be read here
Earlier IP Tango post here

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