Saturday, 7 February 2009

IP absolutism continued

Another illustration of the trend towards IP absolutism, though far from being a new argument.  Developing countries are accusing the European Community of using tough IP laws to seize generic drugs destined for those countries.

The accusations were raised at a meeting of the World Trade Organisation, and concern in particular the seizure in The Netherlands of a shipment of Indian-made generic blood pressure drugs en route for Brazil.  The use of intellectual property to inhibit access to affordable medicines is not the law's finest moment, and it shows strikingly how the pressures on intellectual property owners - the need, I suppose, to provide profits for shareholders - can manifest itself as blind avarice.  Of course, nothing in this world is ever that simple - but when it comes to life-saving medicines, it's not very difficult, either.

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