DS: Brazil — Measures Affecting Patent Protection

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

The summary below was up-to-date at


Complaint by the United States.

On 30 May 2000, the US requested consultations with Brazil in respect of those provisions of Brazil’s 1996 industrial property law (Law No. 9,279 of 14 May 1996; effective May 1997) and other related measures, which establish a “local working” requirement for the enjoyability of exclusive patent rights. The US asserts that the “local working” requirement can only be satisfied by the local production — and not the importation — of the patented subject-matter. More specifically, the US noted that Brazil’s “local working” requirement stipulates that a patent shall be subject to compulsory licensing if the subject-matter of the patent is not “worked” in the territory of Brazil. The US further noted that Brazil explicitly defines “failure to be worked” as “failure to manufacture or incomplete manufacture of the product” or “failure to make full use of the patented process”. The US considered that such a requirement is inconsistent with Brazil’s obligations under Articles 27 and 28 of the TRIPS Agreement, and Article III of the GATT 1994.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

At its meeting of 1 February 2001, the DSB established a panel. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, India and Japan reserved their third party rights.


Mutually agreed solution

On 5 July 2001, the parties to the dispute notified to the DSB a mutually satisfactory solution on the matter.


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