Copyright (c) 2003 Law and Business Review of the Americas
Law and Business Review of the Americas
ARTICLE: Impact of Multinational Enterprises on Multilateral Rule Making: the Pharmaceutical Industry and the TRIPS Uruguay Round Negotiations
9 Law & Bus. Rev. Am. 667
Mohamed Omar Gad*
THE history of the negotiation of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement)n1 and the context within which its initiation and progress occurred have been the subject of numerous legal and non-legal studies. n2 In a significant number of those accounts, the discourse acknowledges that the rule making process of the TRIPS Agreement and more notably the background to this rule making process in terms of domestic, unilateral and bilateral developments in the area of intellectual property (IP) protection has been disproportionately influenced by the interests of Industrialised Countries' (ICs) corporate actors. n3 Corporate interests with a stake in a high level of intellectual property safeguards encompass industries with considerable investments protected by copyright laws, trademark laws, and patent laws as well as other forms of intellectual property protection.n4 Among the most prominent industries with investments protected by patent laws is the dynamic and research intensive pharmaceutical industry. As such, the pharmaceutical industry was and continues to be at the forefront of corporate lobbying of patent laws.
These lobbying efforts by the pharmaceutical industry and particularly those of the U.S.-based multinational pharmaceutical giants have significantly affected the course of the multilateral negotiations on intellectual property; specifically those relating to patents, during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1986-1994. On the other hand, Developing Countries (DCs) resisted the pressure to introduce IP rules, specifically patent rules, within the GATT framework. However, the ...
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