Title: Pledges and pitfalls: Canada's legislation on compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals for export

Authors: Richard Elliott

Addresses: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 1240 Bay Street, Suite 600, Toronto, Ontario M5R 2A7, Canada

Abstract: In May 2004, at the urging of civil society advocates, Canada became the first country to enact detailed legislation implementing the August 2003 decision of the World Trade Organization allowing compulsory licensing of pharmaceutical patents in a WTO Member for the purpose of exporting lower-cost generic products to countries lacking sufficient capacity to manufacture their own pharmaceuticals. The Canadian legislation contains some positive features that should inform law-making elsewhere. However, it also falls short of taking full advantage of flexibilities permitted under WTO law and also contains several unnecessary, |TRIPS-plus| provisions that should be avoided in other jurisdictions implementing the WTO Decision to promote access to more affordable medicines for all.

Keywords: pharmaceuticals; treatment access; human rights; intellectual property management; IPM; pharmaceutical patents; international law; WTO; TRIPS; TRIPS-plus; Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; IPR; Canada; exports; compulsory licensing; generic medicines; affordable medicines; developing countries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2006.011024

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2006 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.94 - 112

Published online: 03 Oct 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article