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Complaint by the United States.
On 2 July 1996, the US requested consultations with
India concerning the alleged absence of patent protection for
pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products in India. Violations of
the TRIPS Agreement Articles 27, 65 and 70 are claimed.
Panel and Appellate Body proceedings
The DSB established a panel at its meeting on 20
November 1996. The EC reserved their third party rights. On 29 January
1997, the Panel was composed. The report of the Panel was circulated on 5
September 1997. The Panel found that India has not complied with its
obligations under Article 70.8(a) or Article 63(1) and (2) of the TRIPS
Agreement by failing to establish a mechanism that adequately preserves
novelty and priority in respect of applications for product patents for
pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical inventions, and was also not in
compliance with Article 70.9 of the TRIPS Agreement by failing to
establish a system for the grant of exclusive marketing rights.
On 15 October 1997, India notified its intention to
appeal certain issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the
Panel. The report of the Appellate Body was circulated to Members on 19
December 1997. The Appellate Body upheld, with modifications, the
findings on Articles 70.8 and 70.9, but ruled that Article 63(1) was not
within the Panelís terms of reference.
The Appellate Body report and the Panel report, as
modified by the Appellate Body, were adopted by the DSB on 16 January
Implementation of adopted reports
At the DSB
meeting of 22 April 1998, the parties announced that they had agreed on
an implementation period of 15 months from the date of the adoption of
the reports i.e. it expired on 16 April 1999. India undertook to comply
with the recommendations of the DSB within the implementation period. On
14 January 1999, the US requested consultations with India in accordance
with Article 21.5 of the DSU (without prejudice to the US position on
whether Article 21.5 requires consultations before referring to the
original panel) regarding the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance, 1999,
promulgated by India to implement the rulings and recommendations of the
DSB. On 29 January 1999, the European Communities requested to join the
At the DSB meeting on 28 April 1999, India presented its
final status report on implementation of this matter which disclosed the
enactment of the relevant legislation to implement the recommendations
and rulings of the DSB.
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