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Intellectual Property and International Clean Technology Diffusion: Pathways and Prospects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2022

Wenting CHENG*
College of Law, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


International clean technology diffusion is essential to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while fast and optimal diffusion can be prevented by the paywall of patents. This article explores the deficiency in clean technology diffusion caused by the legal fragmentation and rule complex of international environmental law and intellectual property law. It systematically examines three pathways to foster international clean technology diffusion through: restriction of intellectual property, including imposing external restraints in environmental law; striking internal balancing in maximizing TRIPS flexibilities; and keeping the status quo. It argues that treaty pathways may not work, and an operable pathway to promote clean technology diffusion is to maximize and consolidate TRIPS flexibilities in national laws. This option challenges the popular proposal of a “Doha-like” declaration on TRIPS and climate change due to the paralyzed multilateral trade mechanism, asymmetrical negotiation power of developing countries, prolonged negotiation process, and categorization problem in treaty negotiations.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Asian Society of International Law

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1 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Climate Change Reports and Related Activities (from 2014 to 2016)”, online: OHCHR <>.

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6 There is no agreed definition of clean technologies. Some definitions only concern technologies addressing climate change; for instance, clean technologies are “technologies that generate fewer carbon emissions than current technologies”. See MCINERNEY, Margaret, “Tacit Knowledge Transfer with Patent Law: Exploring Clean Technology Transfers” (2011) 21 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law 449Google Scholar at 452. Some authors also use related terms such as “environmentally friendly technologies”, “environmentally sound technologies”, “GHG mitigation technologies”, and “carbon mitigation technology” interchangeably with “clean technology”. See Antoine DECHEZLEPRÊTRE, Matthieu GLACHANT, and Yann MÉNIÈRE, “The Clean Development Mechanism and the International Diffusion of Technologies: An Empirical Study” (2008) 36 Energy Policy 1273. This article acknowledges the differences of terminologies, as well as the difficulties in reaching an agreement on such definitions. It will use the term “clean technologies” throughout and Section IV. B. I will analyze relevant regulatory issue arising from the definition and scope of relevant terminologies.

7 Christiane GERSTETTER, Dominic MARCELLINO, and Elena von SPERBER, “Technology Transfer in the International Climate Negotiations – The State of Play and Suggestions for the Way Forward” (2010) 4 Carbon & Climate Law Review 3; Abbe E. BROWN, “Intellectual Property. Climate Change and Technology” in Rochelle DREYFUSS and Justine PILA, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Property Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 1 at 1; Matthew RIMMER, Intellectual Property and Climate Change: Inventing Clean Technologies (Edward Elgar, 2011).

8 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 9 May 1992, 1771 U.N.T.S. 107 (entered into force 21 March 1994) [UNFCCC], arts. 4.5 and 4.7.

9 See Section III.A.1 for details on how IP was eventually eliminated from the negotiation agenda of Copenhagen Accord.

10 World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement, 15 April 1994, 33 I.L.M. 81 (entered into force 1 January 1995) [TRIPS].

11 Khorsed ZAMAN, “The TRIPS Patent Protection Provisions and Their Effects on Transferring Climate Change Technologies to LDCs and Poor Developing Countries: A Critical Appraisal” (2013) 3 Asian Journal of International Law 137.

12 Brown, supra note 7; Rimmer, supra note 7.

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18 World Trade Organization, “Doha WTO Ministerial 2001: Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health” (November 2001) [Doha Declaration].

19 ABBOTT, Frederick M, “The Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health: Lighting a Dark Corner at the WTO” (2002) 5 Journal of International Economic Law 469CrossRefGoogle Scholar; DRAHOS, Peter, “Four Lessons for Developing Countries from the Trade Negotiations Over Access to Medicines” (2007) 28 Liverpool Law Review 11CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

20 For a detailed discussion, see Section IV. B. I.

21 See Section IV.B.2.

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23 Parsa ERFANI, Agnes BINAGWAHO, Mohamed Juldeh JALLOH, Muhammad YUNUS, Paul FARMER, and Vanessa KERRY, “Intellectual Property Waiver for Covid-19 Vaccines Will Advance Global Health Equity” (2021) 374 The BMJ n1837.

24 Fatima HASSAN, Gavin YAMEY, and Kamran ABBASI, “Profiteering from Vaccine Inequity: A Crime against Humanity?” (2021) 374 The BMJ n2027.

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28 Paul STONEMAN, “Technological Diffusion: The Viewpoint of Economic Theory”, Warwick Economic Research Papers (1986). See also MACLEOD, Christine, “The Paradoxes of Patenting: Invention and Its Diffusion in 18th- and 19th-Century Britain, France, and North America” (1991) 32 Technology and Culture 885CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

29 Nathan ROSENBERG, Technology and American Economic Growth (Harper & Row Publishers, 1972) at 188.

30 RUSE-KHAN, Henning Grosse, “From TRIPS to FTAs and Back: Re-Conceptualising the Role of a Multilateral IP Framework in a TRIPS-plus World” (2018) 48 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 57CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

31 Eric SCHIFF, Industrialization without National Patents: The Netherlands, 1869-1912; Switzerland, 1850-1907 (Princeton University Press, 1971).

32 Doron S BEN-ATAR, Trade Secrets: Intellectual Piracy and the Origins of American Industrial Power (Yale University Press, 2004).

33 Ha-Joon CHANG, “Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development: Historical Lessons and Emerging Issues” (2001) 2 Journal of human development 287.

34 Ruth L. OKEDIJI, “Back to Bilateralism? Pendulum Swings in International Intellectual Property Protection” (2004) 1 University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal 125.

35 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883 (as Amended on September 28, 1979), 28 September 1979, 828 U.N.T.S 305 (entered into force 3 June 1984) [Paris Convention].

36 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (as amended on September 28, 1979), 9 September 1886, 828 U.N.T.S 221 (entered into force 19 November 1984).

37 Peter DRAHOS and John BRAITHWAITE, Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy? (Earthscan, 2002) at 75.

38 Chang, supra note 33.

39 Stoneman, supra note 28 at 1.

40 Rochelle DREYFUSS and Susy FRANKEL, “From Incentive to Commodity to Asset: How International Law Is Reconceptualizing Intellectual Property” (2014) 36 Michigan Journal of International Law 552.

41 Susan K SELL, Private Power, Public Law: The Globalization of Intellectual Property Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

42 Peter DRAHOS, “BITs and BIPs: Bilateralism in Intellectual Property” (2001) 4 The Journal of World Intellectual Property 791; Ruth LOPERT and Deborah GLEESON, “The High Price of ‘Free’ Trade: US Trade Agreements and Access to Medicines” (2013) 41 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 199.

43 This has been a continuous research agenda for IP law. For a comprehensive review of various theories, see Sean P. MORRIS, “The Contemporary Ideological Legitimacy of Global Intellectual Property Rights” (2020) Intellectual Property Quarterly 1 at 44.

44 Nitya NANDA and Nidhi SHRIVASTAVA, “Clean Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Rights” (2009) 9 Sustainable Development Law & Policy 42.

45 Shabalala DALINDYEBO, Climate change, technology transfer and intellectual property: options for action at the UNFCCC (Maastricht University, 2014).

46 For the purpose of this article, initiatives refer to policy agendas that are not formally pursued by text-based international negotiations.

47 IP may be further abused for royalty overcharge through patent holdup and royalty stacking. See Mark A. LEMLEY and Carl SHAPIRO, “Patent Holdup and Royalty Stacking” (2006) 85 Texas Law Review 1991.

48 For the discussion on value as priorities, see Marc TADAKI, Jim SINNER, and Kai MA CHAN, “Making Sense of Environmental Values: A Typology of Concepts” (2017) 22 Ecology and Society 1.

49 Henning Grosse RUSE-KHAN, “Overlaps and Conflict Norms in Human Rights Law: Approaches of European Courts to Address Intersections with Intellectual Property Rights” in Christophe GEIGER, ed., Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property (Cheltenham, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar, 2015), 70.

50 Laurence R HELFER, “Regime Shifting: The TRIPs Agreement and New Dynamics of International Intellectual Property Lawmaking” (2004) 29 Yale Journal of International Law 1.

51 Andreas FISCHER-LESCANO and Gunther TEUBNER, “Regime-Collisions: The Vain Search for Legal Unity in the Fragmentation of Global Law” (2004) 25 Michigan Journal of International Law 999; Paul Schiff BERMAN, “Global Legal Pluralism” (2007) 80 Southern California Law Review 1155.

52 Convention on Biological Diversity, 5 June 1992, 1760 U.N.T.S. 79 (entered into force 29 December 1993) [CBD].

53 Draft Decision to Enhance Mutual Supportiveness between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity: Communication from Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru, Thailand, the ACP Group, and the African Group, TN/C/W/59 (19 April 2011).

54 Ruse-Khan, supra note 49.

55 Alan BOYLE, “Human Rights and the Environment: Where Next?” (2012) 23 European Journal of International Law 613; ibid.

56 Human Rights and Climate Change, UNHRC Res. 10/4, UN Doc. A/HRC/RES/10/4 (2009).

57 Shubha GHOSH, “Patents and the Regulatory State: Rethinking the Patent Bargain Metaphor after Eldred” (2004) 19 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1315.

58 Hazel VJ MOIR, “Empirical Evidence on the Inventive Step” (2013) 35 European Intellectual Property Review 246.

59 However, it is argued that these flexibilities are not sufficiently implemented in practice. See Carolyn DEERE, The Implementation Game: The TRIPS Agreement and the Global Politics of Intellectual Property Reform in Developing Countries (Oxford University Press, 2009).

60 For the discussion on Article 27.1 and its manifestation of technology neutrality, see Nari LEE, “Revisiting the Principle of Technological Neutrality in Patent Protection in the Age of 3D Printing Technology and Cloud Computing” in Hanns ULLRICH, Reto M. HILTY, Matthias LAMPING, and Josef DREXL, eds., TRIPS plus 20: From Trade Rules to Market Principles (Springer, 2016).

61 The UN Secretary-General's High Level Panel defines flexibility as “a set of norms, rules and standards that allow variations in the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement's obligations, including limits on the exercise of IP rights”. See High-Level Panel on Access to Health Technologies, “Report of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access To Medicines: Promoting Innovation and Access to Health Technologies” (September 2016), online: High-Level Panel <>.

62 World Intellectual Property Organization, “Exclusions from Patentable Subject Matter and Exceptions and Limitations to the Rights” (February 2009), online: WIPO <>.

63 For instance, Convention on the Grant of European Patents, 5 October 1973, 1065 U.N.T.S. 199 (entered into force 7 October 1977) [European Patent Convention], art. 53(a); Patent Law of the People's Republic of China, October 17, 2020, Order of the President of the People's Republic of China No. 55 (entered into force June 1, 2021) [Patent Law of China], art. 5.1.

64 Edward WALTERSCHEID, “The Early Evolution of the United States Patent Law: Antecedents (Part 2)” (1994) 76 Journal of Patents and Trademarks Office Society 849.

65 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, 15 April 1994, Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 1A, 1867 U.N.T.S. 187, 33 I.L.M. 1153 (1994) [GATT].

66 General Agreement on Trade in Services, 15 April 1994, 1869 U.N.T.S. 183 (entered into force 1 January 1995) [GATS]; Caroline HENCKELS, “The Ostensible Flexibilities in TRIPS: Can Essential Pharmaceuticals Be Excluded from Patentability in Public Health Crises” (2006) 32 Monash University Law Review 335.

67 World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement, 15 April 1994, 33 I. L. M. 81 (entered into force 1 January 1995) [TRIPS], art. 27.2.

68 Audrey R CHAPMAN, “Religious Contributions to the Debate on the Patenting of Human Genes” (2012) 10 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 650.

69 Rimmer, supra note 7 at 91.

70 Keith MASKUS, “Differentiated IP Regimes for Environmental and Climate Technologies”, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Environment Working Papers No. 17, 5 May 2010.

71 Exceptions can be understood as carve outs from IP owners’ rights while the boundary of IP rights is delineated by limitations to the right. See Andrew CHRISTIE, “Maximising Permissible Exceptions to Intellectual Property Rights” in Annette KUR and Vytautas MIZARAS, The Structure of Intellectual Property Law: Can One Size Fit All? (Edward Elgar, 2011). However, it is worth noticing that while the terms ‘exceptions’ and ‘limitations’ are widely used under the three-step text, there is no agreement on the definition or uniform practices on exception and limitations. See Annette KUR, “Of Oceans, Islands, and Inland Water - How Much Room for Exceptions and Limitations Under the Three-Step Test?” (2009) 8 Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business 287. For a further discussion of TRIPS exceptions and limitations, see Lee, supra note 60; Eric M. SOLOVY and Pavan KRISHNAMURTHY, “TRIPS Agreement Flexibilities and Their Limitations: A Response to the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel Report on Access to Medicines” (2017) 50 George Washington International Law Review 69.

72 World Intellectual Property Organization, supra note 62.

73 Canada – Patent Protection of Pharmaceutical Products, Panel Report of 17 March 2000, WT/DS114/R at para 7.26.

74 Ruth L OKEDIJI, “Public Welfare and the Role of the WTO: Reconsidering the TRIPS Agreement” (2003) 17 Emory International Law Journal 820.

75 Dina HALAJIAN, “Inadequacy of TRIPS and the Compulsory Licence: Why Broad Compulsory Licensing Is Not a Viable Solution to the Access Medicine Problem” (2013) 38 Brooklyn Journal of International Law 1191.

76 World Trade Organization, “Doha WTO Ministerial 2001: Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health” (November 2001).

77 World Trade Organization, “Amendment of the TRIPS Agreement” (December 2005). This amendment introduced a new Article 31bis.

78 Robert FAIR, “Does Climate Change Justify Compulsory Licensing of Green Technology?” (2010) 6 BYU International Law and Management Review 21.

79 Carlos M. CORREA, “The Use of Compulsory Licences in Latin America” in Reto M. HILTY and Kung-Chung LIU, eds., Compulsory Licensing: Practical Experiences and Ways Forward (Springer, 2015), 43 at 58–59.

80 Zaman, supra note 11 at 156.

81 Fair, supra note 78 at 25.

82 IPCC issues many scientific reports about global warming. See Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, supra note 4.

83 United Nations Environment Programme, “Emissions Gap Report 2019 - Executive Summary” (2019), online: UNEP <>.

84 In reality, however, environmental agreements such as Paris Agreement was criticized as a “successful failure” as the commitments are voluntary. See Barry GILLS and Jamie MORGAN, “Global Climate Emergency: After COP24, Climate Science, Urgency, and the Threat to Humanity” 17 (2020) Globalizations 885; ibid.

85 Antony S. TAUBMAN, “The Coming of Age of the TRIPS Agreement: Framing Those ‘Trade-Related Aspects’” in Christophe GEIGER, eds., The Intellectual Property System in a Time of Change: European and International Perspectives (Strasbourg: CEIPI, 2016).

86 These entities often only limited to those providing services to governments either directly as part of government or indirectly as suppliers, such as nursing homes.

87 Antony Taubman, “Rethinking TRIPS: ‘Adequate Remuneration’ for Non-Voluntary Patent Licensing” (2008) 11 Journal of International Economic Law 927.

88 Australian Productivity Commission, “Compulsory Licensing of Patents: Productivity Commission Inquiry Report” (March 2013), online: Australian Productivity Commission  <>.

89 Australian Government IP Australia, “Public Consultation: Crown Use of Patents and Designs” (August 2017), online: Australian Government IP Australia, <>; Jane L. NIELSEN, Dianne NICOL, John LIDDICOAT, and Tess WHITTON, “Another Missed Opportunity to Reform Compulsory Licensing and Crown Use in Australia” (2014) 25 Australian Intellectual Property Journal 74.

90 Drahos, supra note 19.

91 While IP regulation has been a domain of treaty, such “positivist” tradition is likely to change. New problems may be solved by customary law. See Frederick M Abbott, Thomas Cottier and Francis Gurry, International Intellectual Property in an Integrated World Economy (Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, 2019) at 16.

92 TRIPS, art. 31(b).

93 Enrico BONADIO, “Parallel Imports in a Global Market: Should a Generalised International Exhaustion be the Next Step?” (2011) 33 European Intellectual Property Review 153.

94 World Trade Organization, “Doha WTO Ministerial 2001: Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health” (November 2001), art. 5(d).

95 Thomas COTTIER, “The Exhaustion of Intellectual Property Rights – A Fresh Look” (2008) 39 IIC International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 755.

96 See Proposals on behalf of the Least-Developed Countries – Communication from Bangladesh, MTN.GNG/NG11/W/50 (1989).

97 World Trade Organization, “Bali Ministerial Declaration” (December 2013), para. 1.6. However, many LCDs were instantly persuaded to give this up in exchange for empty promises. See Deere, supra note 59.

98 Peter DRAHOS, The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and Their Clients (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

99 It is worth noticing that the obligation in Article 66.2 is not mandating developed country members to transfer technology to LDCs directly or even ensure the transfer of technology happening. Instead, it only obliges developed country members to provide incentives to enterprises and institutions in their territory to promote and encourage technology transfer to LDC. See Jayashree WATAL and Leticia CAMINERO, “Least-developed Countries, Transfer of Technology and the TRIPS Agreement” in Carlos CORREA and Xavier SEUBA, eds., Intellectual Property And Development: Understanding The Interfaces Liber Amicorum Pedro Roffe (Springer, 2019), 199.

100 Doha Ministerial Decision of 14 November 2001, WT/MIN(01)/17 (2001), para. 11.2.

101 Watal and Caminero, supra note 99.

102 Ibid.

103 Susan K. SELL, “TRIPS Was Never Enough: Vertical Forum Shifting, FTAS, ACTA, and TPP” (2010) 18 Journal of Intellectual Property Law 447.

104 Drahos, supra note 19.

105 Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (signed 4 February 2016).

106 Although the focus to promote better access to clean technology is through the broader concept of technology diffusion as discussed in this paper, the existing mechanisms are all designed for a much narrower activity of technology transfer. Dissemination beyond contract-based technology transfer can be considered infringement and unlawful.

107 UNFCCC, supra note 8, art. 4.5.

108 United Nations, “Bali Action Plan 2007, Report of the Conference of the Parties on Its Thirteenth Session, Held in Bali from 3 to 15 December 2007” (March 2008), online: UN <> [Bali Action Plan].

109 Decision 1/CP.16, “The Cancun Agreements: Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention” (2010) [Cancun Agreements].

110 Jennifer MORGAN, “Reflections on the Cancun Agreements” World Resources Institute (December 2010), online: World Resources Institute <>.

111 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “World Economic and Social Survey 2009 Promoting Development, Saving the Planet” (2009), online: UN DESA <>.

112 Copenhagen Accord, United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen, UN Doc. FCCC/KP/CMP/2009/L.9 [Copenhagen Accord].

113 Lavanya RAJAMANI, “The Making and Unmaking of the Copenhagen Accord” (2010) 59 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 824.

114 Third World Network, “Submission for the Update of the ‘Assembly Document’”, FCCC/AWGLCA/2008/16 (2008).

115 Martin KHOR, “Climate Change, Technology and IP Rights: Context and Recent Negotiations”, South Centre, Research Papers 45, April 2012.

116 Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action, “Revised negotiating text: Note by the secretariat”, FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/INF.1 (2009), online: AWG-LCA, <>, para. 188(a) (Alternative to subparagraph (a)).

117 Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention, “Non-paper No. 36. Resumed Seventh Session, Barcelona, 2–6 November 2009, Contact Group on Enhanced Action on the Development and Transfer of Technology Draft text” (3 November 2009), online: AWG-LCA <>. The non-papers are not official documents, but they are really negotiating texts. See also Catherine SAEZ, “IP Rights in A Quiet Tug-of-War at UN Climate Change Negotiations” Intellectual Property Watch (6 November 2009), online: Intellectual Property Watch <>.

118 Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (“AWG-LCA”), “Non-paper No. 47. Resumed Seventh Session Barcelona, 2–6 November 2009, Contact Group on Enhanced Action on the Development and Transfer of Technology Draft text” (6 November 2009), online: AWG-LCA <>. Paragraph 10bis non-paper no. 47 provides “any international agreement on intellectual property shall not be interpreted or implemented in a manner that limits or prevents any Party from taking any measures to address adaptation or mitigation of climate change, in particular the development and enhancement of endogenous capacities and technologies of developing countries and transfer of, and access to, environmentally sound technologies and know-how.”

119 Ibid.

120 United Nations Convention on Cliumate Change Conference of the Parties, “Report of the Conference of the Parties on its fifteenth Session, Held in Copenhagen, 7 – 19 December 2009. Decisions Adopted by the Conference of the Parties” (March 2010), online: UNFCCC COP <>.

121 Sell, supra note 14.

122 Agreement between Japan and Brunei Darussalam for an economic partnership, 18 June 2007, U.N.T.S. 2781 (entered into force 31 July 2008).

123 Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland, “Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability” (September 2019), online: New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade <> [ACCTS].

124 Eric SCHIFF, Industrialization without National Patents: The Netherlands, 1869–1912; Switzerland, 1850–1907 (Princeton University Press, 1971).

125 Hanns ULLRICH, “The Political Foundations of TRIPS Revisited” in Ullrich, Hilty, Lamping and Drexl, eds., supra note 60.

126 TRIPS, art. 7 and 8. However, it was found that these principles are often ignored by WTO dispute settlement panels. See Susy FRANKEL, “Some consequences of misinterpreting the TRIPS Agreement” (2009) 1 WIPO Journal 1.

127 See AWG-LCA, supra note 118.

128 Mancur OLSON, Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Harvard University Press, 1965).

129 Onno KUIK, Frédéric BRANGER, and Philippe QUIRION, “Competitive Advantage in the Renewable Energy Industry: Evidence from a Gravity Model” (2019) 131 Renewable Energy 472.

130 WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, opened for signature 16 June 2003, 2302 U.N.T.S. 166 (entered into force 27 February 2005) [WHO FCTC].

131 Australia – Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging, DS 434 (complaint Ukraine), DS 435 (complaint Honduras), DS 441 (complaint Dominican Republic), DS 458 (complaint Cuba), DS 467 (complaint Indonesia). Australia argues that the measures do not constitute a substantial deprivation of the value, use, or enjoyment of the investment. In the WTO dispute settlement, the panels decided that the plain packaging measures of Australia do not stop the owner of registered tobacco trademarks from preventing unauthorized use of identical or similar tobacco trademarks on identical or similar products or unjustifiably encumber the use of tobacco trademarks in the course of trade, which partly supported the above non-deprivation argument. Australia won all four cases.

132 Matthew RIMMER, “Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products: Landmark Ruling” (2018) 6 WIPO Magazine 38.

133 United States – Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, DS 285 (complaint Antigua and Barbuda).

134 Sarita JACKSON, “Small States and Compliance Bargaining in the WTO: An Analysis of the Antigua-US Gambling Services Case” (2012) 25 Cambridge Review of International Affairs 367.

135 Frank BIERMANN, Philipp PATTBERG, Harro VAN ASSELT, and Fariborz ZELLI, “The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis” (2009) 9 Global Environmental Politics 14.

136 Prescriptiveness measures the extent to which law and regulation use mandatory and substantive performance thresholds. See Devin JUDGE-LORD, Constance L. MCDERMOTT, and Benjamin CASHORE, “Do Private Regulations Ratchet Up? How to Distinguish Types of Regulatory Stringency and Patterns of Change” (2020) 33 Organization and Environment 96.

137 Henning Grosse RUSE-KHAN, “Time for a Paradigm Shift? Exploring Maximum Standards in International Intellectual Property Protection” (2009) 1 Trade, Law and Development 56.

138 Michael Byers, “Still Agreeing to Disagree: International Security and Constructive Ambiguity” (2020) 8 Journal on the Use of Force and International Law 91; Kyung Bok SON and Tae Jin LEE, “The Trends and Constructive Ambiguity in International Agreements on Intellectual Property and Pharmaceutical Affairs: Implications for Domestic Legislations in Low-and Middle-Income Countries” (2018) 13 Global Public Health 9.

139 Peter LINDSAY, “The Ambiguity of GATT Article XXI: Subtle Success or Rampant Failure” (2002) 52 Duke Law Journal 1277.

140 These terms are all used in Article 31 of the TRIPS without properly defined.

141 This paper refers relevant proposals as “Doha-like declaration on TRIPS and climate change” to avoid confusion about different terminologies used for clean technology and the scope of such technologies.

142 Frederick M. ABBOTT, “Innovation and Technology Transfer to Address Climate Change: Lessons from the Global Debate on IP and Public Health” International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (June 2009), online: ICTSD <>; Carlos M. CORREA, “Intellectual Property Rights under the UNFCCC: without Response to Developing Countries's Concerns” in Joshua SARNOFF ed., Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change (Edward Elgar, 2016) 74.

143 UNFCCC, “Notes on sources for FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/INF.1, Parts I and II” at 184.

144 Christina COTTERT, “The Implications of Rwanda's Paragraph 6 Agreement with Canada for Other Developing Countries” (2008) 5 Loyola University Chicago International Law Review 177.

145 Tolulope Anthony ADEKOLA, “Has the Doha Paragraph 6 System Reached Its Limits?” (2020) 15 Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 525.

146 Drahos, supra note 19 at 11–12.

147 See Section IV.B.1.

148 Henning Grosse RUSE-KHAN and Annette KUR, “Enough is Enough – The Notion of Binding Ceilings” in Annette KUR, ed., Intellectual Property Rights in a Fair World Trade System – Proposals for Reform of TRIPS (Edward Elgar, 2011) 359.

149 Rochelle C. DREYFUSS, “TRIPS-Round II: Should Users Strike Back?” (2004) 71 The University of Chicago Law Review 21.

150 Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, 27 June 2013 ATNIF 15 (entered into force 30 September 2016).

151 Article 4 of TRIPS provides that with regard to the protection of IP, any advantage, favour, privilege or immunity granted by a member to the nationals of any other country shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the nationals of all other members.

152 TRIPs-Plus refers to “provisions that either exceed the requirements of TRIPS or eliminate flexibilities in implementing TRIPs”, see Susan K. SELL, “TRIPS-Plus Free Trade Agreements and Access to Medicines” (2007) 28 Liverpool Law Review 41.

153 Dan L. BURK, Matthias LAMPING, Reto HILTY, Carlos M. CORREA, N. S. GOPALAKRISHNAN, Henning Grosse RUSE-KHAN, Annette KURR, Geertrui VAN OVERWALLE, Jerome H. REICHMAN, and Hans ULLRICH, “Declaration on Patent Protection: Regulatory Sovereignty Under TRIPS” (2014) 45 IIC-International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 679.

154 GOMEZ-MERA, Laura, “International Regime Complexity and Regional Governance: Evidence from the Americas” (2015) 21 Global Governance 19CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

155 Drahos, supra note 98.

156 Antoine DECHEZLEPRÊTRE and Eric LANE, “Fast-tracking Green Patent Applications” (2013) 3 WIPO Magazine 5; Bingbin LU, “Expedited Patent Examination for Green Inventions: Developing Countries’ Policy Choices” (2013) 61 Energy Policy 1529.

157 See Section Section IV.B.1.

158 These terms are considered as interchangeable in this article. See footnote 6 for relevant definitions in the literature.

159 Pinar OZCAN and Kerem GURSES, “Playing Cat and Mouse: Contests over Regulatory Categorization of Dietary Supplements in the United States” (2018) 61 Academy of Management Journal 1789.

160 Ibid.

161 Aaron COSBEY, “The Green Goods Agreement: Neither Green nor Good?” International Institute for Sustainable Development (February 2014), online: IISD <>.

162 Article 27.1 of TRIPS provides that patents shall be available for any inventions as products or processes, provided they satisfy the patentability requirements. Article 28.1 (b) specifies the rights conferred to process patents, including using, offering for sale, selling, or importing for these purposes at least the product obtained directly by that process.

163 Merlinda ANDONI, Valentin ROBU, David FLYNN, Simone ABRAM, Dale GEACH, David JENKINS, Peter MCCALLUM, and Andrew PEACOCK, “Blockchain Technology in the Energy Sector: A Systematic Review of Challenges and Opportunities” (2019) 100 Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 143.

164 Drahos, supra note 19.

165 Silke BECK and Martin MAHONY, “The IPCC and the new map of science and politics” (2018) 9 Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change e547.

166 ELDER, Dave, “The Availability of Critical Medicines during Pandemics” (2020) 25 European Pharmaceutical Review 5Google Scholar.

167 Adnan SERIC, Holger GÖRG, Saskia MÖSLE, and Michael Windisch, “Managing COVID-19: How the Pandemic Disrupts Global Value Chains” KIEL Institute for the World Economy (April 2020), online: IFW-KIEL <>.

168 Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of Covid-19: Communication from India and South Africa, IP/C/W/669 (2 October 2020), para. 12.

169 These include Section 1 on copyright and related rights, Section 4 on industrial designs, Section 5 on patents and Section 7 on the protection of undisclosed information.

170 Co-sponsors include Kenya, Eswatini, Mozambique, Pakistan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, the African Group, the Least Developed Countries Group, the Maldives, Fiji, Namibia, Vanuatu, Indonesia, and Jordan.

171 Office of the United States Trade Representative, “Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai on the Covid-19 Trips Waiver” (5 May 2021), online: USTR <>. It is worth noticing that the US has not yet co-sponsored the IP/C/W/669 proposal, and its position is to support text-based negotiations only for technologies of vaccines.

172 Draft General Council Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health in the Circumstances of a Pandemic: Communication from the European Union to the Council for TRIPS, IP/C/W/681 (18 June 2021).

173 Alden ABBOTT, Adam MOSSOFF, Kristen OSENGA, and Zvi ROSEN, “COVID Vaccine IP Waiver: A Pathway to Fewer, Not More, Vaccines” Regulatory Transparency Project (28 October 2021), online: RTP <>.

174 See e.g., Bryan MERCURIO, “The IP Waiver for COVID-19: Bad Policy, Bad Precedent” (2021) 52 IIC International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 983.

175 Aruna KASHYAP, Kyle KNIGHT, and Margaret WURTH, “COVID-19 Exposes Warped Global Health Power: The System Needs a Course Correction” (2021) 31 Business and Human Rights Journal 1.

176 John ZAROCOSTAS, “What next for a COVID-19 Intellectual Property Waiver?” (2021) 397 Lancet 1871.

177 Ingrid T. KATZ, Rebecca WEINTRAUB, Linda-Gail BEKKER, and Allan M. BRANDT, “From Vaccine Nationalism to Vaccine Equity – Finding a Path Forward” (2021) 384 New England Journal of Medicine 1281. SARIOLA, Salla, “Intellectual Property Rights Need to Be Subverted to Ensure Global Vaccine Access” (2021) 6 BMJ Global Health e005656CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

178 Gregg GONSALVES and Gavin YAMEY, “The Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver: A Crucial Step towards a ‘People's Vaccine’” (2021) 373 The BMJ 1249.