Global Trade and IP

G8 2012: Increased IPR Protection for Whom Exactly?

The 2012 G8 Summit at Camp David (18-19 May) concluded with the development of the member nations’ declarations on the importance of intellectual property rights (IPRs) as central to the regimes of economic development. While IPRs have been held as measures of the wealth of developed nations (through processes such as patent valuation), what is interesting to note here is the blatant push to create uniformity in the IP regimes of these nations. Of course, the WIPO treaties have already ensured this aim has been fulfilled to a degree, but our concern here at IPEye is the impact this will have on developing economies, which are already strained under existing global IP laws. While the declaration states that the promotion of fair international trade is a definite priority, it concludes with the warning that a crackdown on “rogue” internet pharmacy sites is imminent, as it is with the counterfeit medicine markets. Given the recent developments of the BRINC (Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China) countries with respect to changes in patent laws, specifically for the development of generic medicines, I wonder if the G8’s latest IP declaration will be counterproductive to the development of IPRs in emerging economies.

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About Mekhala Chaubal

- J.D. Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada; Called to the Ontario Bar (2016) - Co-founder and blogger, IPEye: A blog on intellectual property issues in the emerging world. Check us out! www.ipeyeblog.com

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