Compulsory Licensing

Picture of pills in vials, Flickr image by erix!

Compulsory licensing is a flexibility included in most patent laws and the World Trade Organization's Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (WTO's TRIPS). Compulsory Licensing allows a government to authorize competition with a patented product in exchange for royalty payments to the patent holder. The TRIPS Agreement preserves member countries' right to grant compulsory licenses to promote public health. Each WTO member country has sovereign authority to determine the grounds upon which a compulsory license can be granted.

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August 12, 2011-NATCO's Application for a Compulsory License for Sorafenib, Patented by Bayer in India

May 10, 2011-Leaked Cables Show U.S. Tried, Failed, to Organize against Ecuador Compulsory Licensing

April 22, 2010-Press Release: By Authorizing Generic Competition, Ecuador Cuts Cost of Key HIV/AIDS Drug

October 23, 2009-President Rafael Correa's Decree Establishing Positive Compulsory Licensing Policy (unofficial English Translation) Or see the Spanish version here (En Espanol)

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