Article 30 and 31 of Trips Agreement

Article 30 and 31 of TRIPS Agreement: What You Need to Know

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement that sets out the minimum standards for intellectual property protection for member countries. Among its provisions are Articles 30 and 31, which deal with compulsory licensing of patents and the use of intellectual property for public health purposes.

Compulsory Licensing of Patents

Article 31 of TRIPS sets out the conditions under which a member country can issue a compulsory license for a patent. A compulsory license allows a government to authorize someone else to use a patented invention without the permission of the patent holder. This is done to ensure that vital inventions are available to the public at a reasonable price.

To issue a compulsory license, certain conditions must be met. These include efforts to obtain a voluntary license from the patent holder on reasonable commercial terms, the licensee must adequately compensate the patent holder, the use of the patented invention must be limited to the purpose for which the license was granted, and the licensee must make efforts to manufacture the patented invention domestically.

Use of Intellectual Property for Public Health Purposes

Article 30 of TRIPS allows member countries to use intellectual property for public health purposes, such as the prevention and treatment of diseases. This provision is particularly relevant in the context of access to affordable medicines for developing countries. The article recognizes the need for member countries to balance intellectual property rights with public health concerns.

Under Article 30, member countries can adopt measures such as compulsory licenses or parallel imports to ensure access to affordable medicines. Parallel imports involve the importation of a patented medicine from another country where it is sold at a lower price. This enables member countries to access affordable medicines that may not be available in their own markets.

Conclusion

Article 30 and 31 of TRIPS are important provisions that aim to strike a balance between intellectual property rights and public health concerns. These provisions enable member countries to issue compulsory licenses for patents and use intellectual property for public health purposes, such as access to affordable medicines. By doing so, they ensure that vital inventions and treatments are available to the public at a reasonable price, while protecting the interests of patent holders.