Switzerland, U.S. ready to end WTO truce on some IP complaints with India in focus

A two-decade truce that has seen members of the World Trade Organization avoid filing "non-violation complaints and situations" for intellectual property rights may not last another year as the U.S. and Switzerland increasingly want to fight denials of patents and compulsory licensing of some key drugs, The Hindu reported.

A proposal to continue the moratorium in place since 1995 was made on behalf of 19 countries, including India and China, The Hindu said. But if the U.S., Switzerland and other nations work to oppose the continuation, litigation at the trade body may pick up pace on intellectual property (IP) disputes.

The newspaper said of particular concern was the use of Section 3(d) of the India Patents Act (1970), citing the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society. The section was used by the Indian Patent Office to deny patents U.S.-based Gilead Sciences ($GILD) hepatitis C drug Sovaldi and cancer drug Glivec/Gleevec from Swiss-based Novartis ($NVS).

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman

India, along with Thailand and Indonesia, has also used the compulsory license provisions under the WTO's Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) framework more widely than many other countries to allow copies of drugs deemed critical.

The tussle over IP generally is a regular feature of the U.S. Trade Representative's Priority Watch List, released in May, for insufficient intellectual-property protection with China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia and Thailand among 13 nations the USTR said it has "the most significant concerns" about in 2015.

- here's the story from The Hindu