Countries wrestle with regulatory data, trade secrets and tech transfer: TRIPS Waiver discussions at WTO

As countries get deeper into discussions on how a potential waiver of certain obligations of the TRIPS agreement can be implemented, they are beginning to engage with the question on how the implementation of such a proposal can look like at the national level.  

Even as a small group of countries including the EU, UK, Switzerland, among others continue to remain entrenched in their positions, unconvinced that a temporary suspension of intellectual property rules will help address the pandemic effectively, in general, the WTO membership continues to clarify certain questions in the on-going negotiations unfolding at the bilateral level and in wider consultations over the last few weeks.

Countries have also been addressing specific elements including the ways to improve access to regulatory data, trade secrets during these past few days. Enabling technology transfer is also emerging as a significant issue among members as they find ways to boost production to address current shortages in the production of medical products for COVID-19.

Image credit: Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

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