DS: European Communities — Patent Protection for Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Chemical Products

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Summary of the dispute to date

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Complaint by Canada.

On 2 December 1998, Canada requested consultations with the EC in respect of the protection of inventions in the area of pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products under the relevant provisions of EC legislation, particularly Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1768/92 and European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No. 1610/96, in relation to EC obligations under the TRIPS Agreement. Canada considered that under the above Regulations, a patent term extension scheme, which is limited to pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products, has been implemented. Canada alleged that Regulations (EEC) No. 1768/92 and (EC) No. 1610/96 are inconsistent with the EC’s obligations not to discriminate on the basis of field of technology, as provided by Article 27.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, because these Regulations only apply to pharmaceutical and agricultural products.


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