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TRIPS Agreement anniversary: WTO should preserve IP at all costs


07 Oct 2020



To mark the 25th anniversary of the TRIPS Agreement, DDG Yi stressed the importance of  IP rights and “remarkable possibilities this [TRIPS] has opened for creators, innovators and companies across the globe, at a time when the knowledge component of development is recognised as being of paramount importance.”

The primary goal of the TRIPS agreement is to safeguard intellectual property rights, and the Consumer Choice Center joins the DDG in acknowledging the impact the agreement has had globally but warns against manipulating TRIPS flexibilities.

Maria Chaplia, European Affairs Associate said: “Incorporating IP into international trade has enabled us to boost prosperity by developing and exchanging consumer goods on a global scale. The COVID-19 pandemic has put brakes on cooperation between the WTO members, but that shouldn’t weaken IP protection.

“For the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the TRIPS agreement, the Consumer Choice Center warns the WTO against falling prey to misguided calls to extend compulsory licensing to other forms of IP such as those made by South Africa.

“We need to stay as firm as ever in our defence of intellectual property rights if we want to defeat coronavirus and many more diseases. Patients who may one day be diagnosed with incurable diseases should benefit from the chance that a cure will become available, and protecting IP is the only way to give them that chance. If we act boldly now and weaken intellectual property rights even further – and expand the scope of TRIPS flexibilities – we will cause the damage that will be hardly reversible, and the post-pandemic world will have to foot the bill.

“If we want more prosperity for all, we need to protect intellectual property rights. TRIPS flexibilities, and the call to extend their scope beyond patens, in particular, are an attempt to erode IP, and should be seen for what they really are: a threat to our economic recovery from COVID-19 and future innovation,” concluded Chaplia.

***CCC's European Affairs Associate Maria Chaplia is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE***


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.