Tuesday, 25 May 2010

United Nations (UN) addressed Colombia in IP matters

The UN Committee that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, warned Colombia about the negative effects that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) can have.

The UN advised (today 25th) that the Colombian authorities should review the points referring to the IP to ensure that prices of commodities such as medicines are affordable to low-income people. The UN was referring in particular to the FTA between Colombia and the United States which according to the news may have negative effects on the population's poorest country and it is the duty of the government to protect these areas.

I wonder what the UN saw in this FTA that did not see in the one recently signed between the US and Colombia-Peru. As far as I can see (please let me know if you notice something different) the protection of pharmaceutical product - patents & related processes and the period of test data exclusivity are pretty much the same in both FTAs. So, if they are, then the UN advice should consider this new FTA, don’t you think?

The FTA between the US and Colombia can be read here, and for the FTA-draft between the EU and Colombia-Peru click here.

I am off to the US for the Law and Society Association Annual Conference where I will be delivering a paper. I hope I can see you there and if not, I hope I can bring you some news (or two).

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