Wednesday, April 24, 2019
ILA Trade Law Committee


Committee on International Trade Law of the International Law Association

Frederick M. Abbott, Co-Rapporteur (1993-present)

Link to Reports and Resolutions of the Committee/ILA

1998 (Taipei) Report (not included on ILA website)

Frederick M. Abbott, Prof. Ernst-Ullrich Petersmann and the Work of the ILA Committee on International Trade Law (1993–2012), in Reflections on the Constitutionalisation of International Economic Law 291-96 (eds. M. Cremora et al.), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (Leiden-Boston), 2014 Download here: FS PETERSMANN Frederick Abbott.pdf

Supreme Court of India


The Judgment In Novartis v. India: What The Supreme Court Of India Said

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Intellectual Property Watch, April 4, 2013

As part of a series of amendments to the India Patents Act that took effect on January 1, 2005, the Parliament of India adopted Section 3(d). This statutory provision has been in force for more than seven years. A challenge brought by Novartis to the constitutionality of the provision and to its compatibility with the WTO TRIPS Agreement (World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) was rejected by the High Court at Madras in 2007. That judgment was not appealed. On 1 April 2013, the Supreme Court of India rendered judgment [pdf] on an appeal by Novartis against rejection by the India Patent Office of a product patent application for a specific compound, the beta crystalline form of imatinib mesylate. Imatinib mesylate is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and is marketed by Novartis as “Glivec” or “Gleevec”. Affirming the rejection, the Supreme Court confirmed that the beta crystalline form of imatinib mesylate failed the test of Section 3(d). The Court clarified that efficacy as contemplated under Section 3(d) is therapeutic efficacy.

EUI Working Paper Comment


Multilevel Governance Problems at the Intersection of Trade, Health and the ‘Global Knowledge Economy'

in Multilevel Governance of Interdependent Public Goods 95 (E-U Petersmann ed.), EUI Working Papers, RSCAS 2012/23 (2012)

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The year 2011 represents the 10th anniversary of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. It is an opportune occasion to briefly reflect on multilateral institutional mechanisms for improving global public health.

IP-Watch: ACTA


Trading’s End: Is ACTA the Leading Edge of a Protectionist Wave?

Intellectual Property Watch, May 6, 2011

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It is instructive to watch the difference  between what government policymakers  say and what they do. The Doha Development Round was launched in 2001 with the promise of trade liberalization for the promotion of development. The DDR is in its extended death throes. Yet, during the timeframe of the DDR, a group of G8-plus countries has managed to negotiate the virtual antithesis of trade liberalization in the form of the plurilateral  Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).The ACTA is designed to   establish a set of nontransparent trade barriers, all the more remarkable having come out of largely liberal democratic governments.



Seizures in Transit


Worst Fears Realised: The Dutch Confiscation of Medicines Bound from India to Brazil

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Worst Fears Realised: The Dutch Confiscation of Medicines Bound from India to Brazil, 13 Bridges No. 1, Feb.-Mar. 2009, at 13-14

The confiscation by Dutch customs authorities of a shipment of the pharmaceutical ‘losartan’ in transit from India to Brazil is one of the most troubling post-Doha Declaration actions affecting public health interests of developing countries. The totality of the circumstances highlights so many serious problems that a brief essay can hardly do the situation justice.

Geneva Mini-Ministerial


Post-Mortem for the Geneva Mini-Ministerial: Where does TRIPS go from here?


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ICTSD Information Note, No. 7, Aug. 2008

Disagreement over TRIPS issues did not cause the “collapse” on July 29, 2008 of the Mini-Ministerial talks at the WTO.  Because the talks foundered for other reasons, we do not know what “might have happened” on the TRIPS front had typical pressures associated with reaching a package conclusion been brought to bear. Continuing strong disagreement over the substantive issues in TRIPS channeled Mini-Ministerial talks on IP-related issues toward the “process” through which an agreement might be reached.


CAMR License


Introductory Note to World Trade Organization Canada First Notice to Manufacture Generic Drug For Export


46 International Legal Materials 1127 (2007)

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The Canadian Commissioner of Patents issued the first compulsory license for export to Apotex, Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, pursuant to Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) on September19, 2007.The license covers export to Rwanda, a least-developed African country, of a fixed dose combination of antiretroviral medicines used in the treatment of HIV -AIDS.



WIPO Development Agenda


The Political Economy of the WIPO Development Agenda

in Views on the Future of the Intellectual Property System, ICTSD Selected Issue Briefs No. 1 (J. Barton et al), June 2007

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From a negotiating standpoint, the proposals for an ambitious WIPO Development Agenda (WDA) put forward by the Group of Friends of Development may be linked to potential forward movement on the draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT). That is, there is a group of developed countries that may be unwilling to permit forward movement on the WDA as a stand-alone matter. Without prejudice to the answer, it may be useful to explore two fundamental questions: (1) what are the potential costs and benefits of moving forward with the draft SPLT and under what conditions, and (2) what could reasonably be demanded from the WDA?


Intellectual Property Rights in Global Trade Framework: IP Trends in Developing Countries

Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law), Vol. 98 (March 31- April 3, 2004), pp. 95-99

Download here: ASIL 2004 Proceedings Chien-Hale and Abbott.pdf

A discussion of trends and countertrends regarding the implementation and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in developing countries, with special attention to IPRs that affect public health.

Bob Hudec Tribute


Bob Hudec as Chair of the Canada - Generic Pharmaceuticals Panel - The WTO Gets Something Right

6 Journal of International Economic Law 733-37 (2003)

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Out of the expanse of Bob Hudec’s many contributions, there is perhaps none that has been (or will be) more widely read and commented on than the report of the WTO dispute settlement panel in Canada-Patent Protection of Pharmaceutical Products (“Canada-Generic Pharmaceuticals”),  for which Bob served as Chair. The decision rendered by the panel in Canada-Generic Pharmaceuticals, which was not appealed, is certainly the most important analysis of the TRIPS Agreement to date.


Non-Violation in TRIPS


Non-Violation Nullification or Impairment Causes of Action under the TRIPS Agreement and the Fifth Ministerial Conference: A Warning and Reminder

Quaker United Nations Office (Geneva) (QUNO), Occasional Paper No. 11, July 2003

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From the standpoint of developing countries, the possibility of non- violation causes of action being brought under the TRIPS Agreement would give rise to serious risks. In the India-Mailbox decision, in which the Appellate Body (AB) first interpreted the TRIPS Agreement, it stressed reliance on the express text of the agreement and discounted the significance of Member’s expectations concerning
its effects. Although the AB has given little indication that it would permit Members to significantly expand the agreement to encompass subject matter not expressly contemplated by the text, there remains the possibility of developing Members being forced to defend claims brought on non-violation grounds, even if for the most part such claims are ultimately rejected.

Future of IPRs


The Future of IPRs in the Multilateral Trading System

in TRADING IN KNOWLEDGE 36-44 (eds. C Bellman, G. Dutfield & R.Melédez-Ortiz 2003) (Earthscan)

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This essay primarily addresses intellectual property related issues confronting developing countries in the run-up to the Cancun Ministerial Conference of the WTO that took place in September 2002. It also addresses potential means for developing countries to improve their negotiating strategies in multilateral and regional forums.

Human Rights and Trade


Human Rights and Trade

Panel Remarks at 96th Annual Meeting of American Society of International Law, 2002 ASIL Proceedings 121 (2002)

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The American Society of International Law Research Project on Human Rights and
International Trade (Project) is designed to identify and analyze the relationship between
the institutions and rules governing international human rights and those governing
international trade. The objective of the project is to offer recommendations for adjustments
that might constructively be made to existing arrangements to encourage the
promotion and protection of human rights within an effectively functioning international
trading system.


NAFTA Chapter 11


The Political Economy of NAFTA Chapter Eleven: Equality Before the Law and the Boundaries of North American Integration

23 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 303 (2000)

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Issues regarding the NAFTA Chapter 11 investment dispute mechanism are part of a larger context of issues that arose in connection with the transformation of the GATT dispute settlement mechanism into the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding, and were reflected in the breakdown of the OECD negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and the Seattle Ministerial Conference (SMC). These issues relate to multilateral and regional governance: who is authorized to make decisions, and how are those decisions made and carried out on behalf of international society? In short, there are increasing public demands for transparency, democratic representation and accountability that, on the one side, are legitimate and useful but, on the other side, are creating tremendous stresses on multilateral governance mechanisms. At the moment, we are reaching something of a crisis point reflecting the inability of governments to make and execute policy - a situation that demands close attention and creative solutions.

Yearbook of International Environmental Law


International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects

Annual reports for the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (1991-1998)

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects, 2 [1991] Y.B. Int'l Envtl. L. 227 (Günther Handl ed.,1992) (Martinus Nijhoff)

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects, 3 [1992] Y.B. Int'l Envtl. L.341 (G. Handl ed., 1993) (Martinus Nijhoff) 

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects, 4 [1993] Y.B. Int’l Envtl. L. 281  (Günther Handl ed., 1994) (Oxford Univ.Press) 

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects, 5 [1994] Y.B. Int’l Envtl. L. 283 (Günther Handled., 1995) (Oxford Univ. Press) 

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects, 6 [1995] Y.B. Int’l Envtl. L. 349 (Günther Handl ed. 1996) (Oxford Univ. Press) 

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions and Environmental Effects, 7 [1996] Y.B. Int’l Envtl. L. 252 (Günther Handl ed. 1997) (Oxford Univ. Press) 

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions andEnvironmental Effects, 8 [1997] Y.B. Int’l Envtl. L. 316 (J. Brunnée & E. Hey eds. 1998) (Oxford Univ. Press) 

International Trade Rules, World Market Conditions andEnvironmental Effects, 9 [1998] Y.B. Int’l Envtl. L. __ (J. Brunnée & E. Hey eds. 1999) (Oxford Univ. Press)

Integration and Institutions


International Institutions and Economic Integration

Remarks at 90th Annual Meeting of American Society of International Law, 1996 ASIL Proceedings 508 (1996)

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This panel will examine the institutions that are part of the process of regional economic

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Copyright 2014 Frederick M. Abbott