DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

DS: United States — US Patents Code

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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Current status

 

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Key facts

Short title:
Complainant:
Respondent:
Third Parties:
Agreements cited:
(as cited in request for consultations)
Request for Consultations received:

 

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Latest document

  

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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at

Consultations

Complaint by Brazil.

On 31 January 2001, Brazil requested consultations with the US concerning the provisions of the US Patents Code, in particular those of Chapter 18 [38] — “Patent Rights in Inventions Made with Federal Assistance”. Brazil detected several discriminatory elements in the US Patents Code, including, but not limited to, the following examples:

  • the stipulation that no small business firm or non-profit organization which receives title to any subject invention shall grant to any person the exclusive right to use or sell any subject invention in the US unless such person agrees that any products embodying the subject invention or produced through the use of the invention will be manufactured substantially in the US.
     
  • Brazil also referred to a requirement that each funding agreement with a small business firm or non-profit organization shall contain appropriate provisions to effectuate the above-mentioned requirement; and
     
  • the statutory restrictions limiting the right to use or sell any federally owned invention in the US only to a licensee that agrees that any products embodying the invention or produced through the use of the invention will be manufactured substantially in the US.

Brazil requested consultations with the US on these and other provisions of the US Patents Code, to “understand how the US justifies the consistency of such requirements with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement, especially Articles 27 and 28, the TRIMs Agreement, Article 2 in particular, and Articles III and XI of GATT 1994”.

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