Patent enforcement & the Doha Declaration

This news item was posted on Afro IP.   The article describes how Dutch customs:

“seized the shipment, made by Indian firm Aurobindo, en-route to Nigeria, at Schipol airport in November under EC legislation designed to protect intellectual property rights.”

The shipment it turns out was HIV medication destined for Sub-Saharan Africa.  The World Trade Organisation has, according the article, commented that this is “over-zealous” enforcement of EC red tape and the article goes on to say:

“[campaign groups] are calling on the EC to revise regulation No 1383/2003 of July 2003, which they say allows for the seizure of medical shipments on the basis they might be infringing intellectual property rights or be counterfeit.  Rohit Malpani of Oxfam International added that the EC law failed to respect the WTO’s Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, which says that intellectual property rules should not interfere with the ability of developing countries to protect and promote public health.”

This isn’t the only criticism of the Dutch authorities regarding their enforcement actions.  Last month I blogged about an IP law enforcement case involving EU, TRIPS and generic drug in transit in the Netherlands from India and bound for Brazil.  Again, the Afro-IP blog  took this story up linking to this site  I found some of the details in this article a little confusing but there was a good write-up from IP-watch on the matter last month, including links to statements from the two countries concerned.

2 responses to “Patent enforcement & the Doha Declaration

  1. I remember there was this one time that a registered medicine beneficial in helping the sick people of Africa was also seized (by the pharma company which owns the rights). BUT, the people fought back with good litigation and the courts ruled that it should be given to the people for humanitarian reasons. That one was a great success.

    Since this one is an HIV medication, shouldn’t the EC just cut its red tape and follow on with the WTO?

  2. Pingback: Enlarging the ‘territorial’ nature of IP rights for goods in transit «

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