ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Substantive Patent Law Treaty

This paper analyses some of the provisions of a draft substantive patent law treaty (SPLT) that were considered in the Tenth Session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, WIPO in 2004. A key question in this regard is whether or not the harmonisation of patent laws, through the adoption of the SPLT, marks a step towards introducing a TRIPS-plus regime in terms of the obligations of signatory countries. It finds that flexibilities currently available under TRIPS could be considerably eroded if patent harmonisation initiated under the WIPO Patent Agenda moves towards higher and stricter standards. Clear linkages between the TRIPS and SPLT negotiating processes have not been established at the multilateral or domestic level in developing countries and there is an urgent need for these nations to make their presence felt at the SPLT negotiations.

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