India, which amended its patent laws for TRIPS-compliance in 2005, introduced a clause to ensure that pharmaceuticals did not block the entry of low-cost generic drugs. A year ago this clause blocked Novartis' patent application for its anti-cancer drug Gleevec. Now, in a major case that will have a profound effect on the affordability of essential medicines in India, Novartis is challenging this unique Indian provision
The principle of non-discrimination was meant to be the cornerstone of the World Trade Organisation and the multilateral trading regime. But ten years down the line, it is clear that the trade rules favour developed countries, and the promise of greater market access for developing countries has not been sufficiently realised
Protectionism, self-reliance and village republics are not enough to lift 1.3 billion of the world’s poor out of absolute poverty. There is sufficient empirical evidence to demonstrate that trade can be a powerful catalyst for poverty reduction, that free trade with fairer policies will benefit the world's poor more than aid or charity. The problem is that World Trade Organisation negotiations and global trade are far from free and fair, with the balance skewed in favour of powerful trading blocs like the US and EU and against poorer nations
From India's perspective it would be most crucial during the Doha negotiations to protect the interests of its farmers, even at the cost of foregoing benefits that might have otherwise been made in services and NAMA negotiations
The Millennium Development Goals address targets and percentages without relating these to the effect of structural inequalities, denial of social justice, economic inequities and the imposition of adverse policies. How then can the MDGs usher in a just new world order?
Goal 8 of the MDGs is about building a global partnership for development, an external economic environment that is favourable for development. From this perspective, the prevention of development-distorting rules, measures, policies and approaches should be the overriding concern of the WTO
The most striking aspect of the farming crisis in India is that its severity is directly proportionate to the degree of integration with international trade and global markets
Does trade liberalisation affect investments in children's health and education? There is growing evidence that children from families denied livelihood security, and deprived of the most basic social benefits, are forced into child labour and a precarious existence in urban centres
This article explores the implications of attempts by the World Trade Organisation to include audiovisual media, especially broadcast programmes, into the General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATS) and thereby promote international free trade in audiovisual services
Despite the staggeringly disproportionate impact of disease on the developing world, pharmaceuticals develop drugs that have a potentially profitable market rather than drugs that are urgently required in poorer countries. Will this change with the World Health Assembly’s recent adoption of a global strategy to fill gaps in existing R&D and work towards drugs needed for diseases that affect developing countries?
Intellectual Property Rights should be subsumed to human rights, national interests and the preservation of genetic resources
What are the implications of construing IPR as fundamental human rights?
Eben Moglen, principal proponent of the free software movement, believes that there is an inherent relationship between free software and free culture. Each is interdependent and enables the other
The copyright system is meant to promote access to knowledge in the public domain, not to restrict it. The proposed amendments to the Indian Copyright Act 1957, however, may land us with an ever-growing list of restrictions
Trade losses to software manufacturers due to piracy are as high as $125 billion. We need to interrogate why piracy of software, books, music etc exists as a market phenomenon. Could it be an organic market reaction to the exclusion of consumers by copyright industries?
All debates about property - whether it's water, medicines or a piece of music - revolve around two fundamental questions: who should have the rights to own and benefit from the property; and what should those rights consist of?