Monthly Archives: January 2007

Non-infringement Violation

“Non-infringement Violation” is a lawyerly short phrase for Article XXIII of GATT 1994 or similar provisions in FTAs or bilateral investment treaties.

Article XXIII: Nullification or Impairment

1. If any contracting party should consider that any benefit accruing to it directly or indirectly under this Agreement is being nullified or impaired or that the attainment of any objective of the Agreement is being impeded as the result of

(a) the failure of another contracting party to carry out its obligations under this Agreement, or

(b) the application by another contracting party of any measure, whether or not it conflicts with the provisions of this Agreement, or

(c) the existence of any other situation,

the contracting party may, with a view to the satisfactory adjustment of the matter, make written representations or proposals to the other contracting party or parties which it considers to be concerned. Any contracting party thus approached shall give sympathetic consideration to the representations or proposals made to it.

Keywords are “benefit,” “indirectly,” “nullified or impaired,” “any objective of the Agreement,” and “the existence of any other situation.”

This provision defines (or intends to define to no avail) the scope of cause of action under the WTO. A government might stretch this provision quite broadly and may bring to the Dispute Settlement Body any dissatisfaction with another governmental or non-governmental action that nullifies or impairs the plaintiff’s objective (whatever that means) of the Agreement.

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APEC SOM I in January 2007

The first significant international meeting in the Asia-Pacific region in 2007 will be held from today (January 15, 2007) till January 26, 2007. There will be tens of big or small meetings held during the period. Among all the meetings, relevant to this blog is the Intellectual Property Experts Group (IPEG) meeting from 23rd to 25th of Jan. There will be interesting topics to be thrown (not literally but figuratively) at the meeting.

If any reader of this blog attends the meeting, please let me know.

Less than 10 months for first action

Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) achieved its goal of reducing the time for taking a first action for patent examination turnaround times for the patent application first substantive examination action to less than 10 months. The Office KIPO is the fastest in the world’s patent offices in patent examination, might one say.

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Viet Nam Joins WTO

http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news07_e/acc_vietnam_11jan07_e.htm

I’ve been away from the WTO issues for long and I forgot that Viet Nam was on queue to become a WTO member. I know not much about Viet Nam, so I can’t say it would be good or bad for the country of long grain rice.

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