Sunday, October 07, 2007

Canada - First Notification of Compulsory Licence to Export

On Thursday, Canada became the first country to notify the TRIPS Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) under Paragraph 2(c) of the Decision of 30 August 2003 on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration of the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.

The notification follows the earlier notification to import made by Rwanda, 17 July, under paragraph 2(a). This earlier notification informed the WTO of the intention to import 260 000 packs of the fixed-dosed combination treatment for HIV-AIDS, TriAvir. Canada's notification to export the medicine to Rwanda is required under the Decision of 30 August 2003 and, according to the WTO news item, "completes the circle."

Canada's notification under paragraph 2(c) fulfils the requirements under that provision to provide to the TRIPS Council relevant infromation on the compulsory licence. As such, the notification announces the authorisation for the medicine to be produced and exported to Rwanda, the conditions governing the compulsory licence and the medicine covered by the licence. Also required is the website of the company licensed to produce the generic version where posts on quantities and other relevant information are to be published before export occurs.

Future notifications of exports will be published on the WTO's dedicated page. Meanwhile, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched its informal consultation on the proposed changes to the UK Patents Act 1977 to give effect to the Communities' implementation of the Decision on Paragraph 6 on compulsory licences and supplementary protection certificates - Regulation (EC) No 816/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on compulsory licensing of patents relating to the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for export to countries with public health problems (Compulsory Licences Regulation). The deadline for responses is 31 October.