Monday, January 21, 2008

South Centre comments on the Innovation and Intellectual Property in the Cariforum EPA

The Cariforum-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is more than just a trade agreement: its scope embraces many subjects that have up to now been solely or mainly within national and regional jurisdiction.

The Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme (IAKP), South Centre has shared its comments on the sections on innovation and intellectual property within the Cariforum EPA. Chapter 2 of Title IV of the draft EPA text covers issues linked with key aspects of socio-economic development of the Cariforum states (CF). One can easily assess the different levels of engagement of the parties under Section 1 and section 2. Section one largely provides for non-binding commitment, declaratory statements, and matters that will be defined during implementation. Section two largely establishes binding TRIPS-plus standards that should be implemented by the parties. If Section 1 is assumed to be of interest for CF, then what they are getting from the EPA will be largely promises that may faces the inherent difficulty of determining its scope and the kind of measures that can be considered as adequate implementation of the commitments. The implementation of Section 2 is straightforward- involving the introduction of domestic laws to implement the section that can be easily verified and assessed.

Read the entire comments at