August 25, 2007

Silences in the TRIPS Agreement

THE STANDARD OF patentability in the TRIPS Agreement is a matter that eludes consensus. When the vital constitutents of patentability ie 'novelty', 'inventive step' and 'industrial application' were left undefined in the TRIPS, it was almost certain that member countries of the WTO would take liberties in defining them. One instance of the exercise of such liberty is our own definition of 'inventive step' in section 2(1)(ja) which adds 'technical advancement' and 'economic significance' over and above the classic requirement of 'obviousness to a person skilled in the art'. Neither do the open list of exceptions to patentability in the TRIPS Agreement help in defining the standard. When the standard of patentability advocated by the TRIPS is unclear, the question of domestic laws confirming to that standard has to be viewed more critically. My article on this issue appeard in today's DNA Money and the same can be read here.

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