Release Date: May 04, 2007Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Brazil Takes Major Step Backward on Intellectual Property Rights, Says U.S. Chamber
WASHINGTON, DC-Lt. Gen. Daniel W. Christman (ret.), U.S. Chamber senior vice president for international affairs, issued the following statement on Brazil's decision to issue a compulsory license for Merck & Co.'s HIV/AIDS medicine Efavirenz after the health ministry ended negotiations with the firm:
"Just days after Brazil was recognized for improving its enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights, its government has made a major step backward.
"Breaking off discussions with Merck and seizing its intellectual property sends a dangerous signal to the investment community. Merck researchers invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop this ground-breaking medicine. Clearly, there was room to negotiate a solution acceptable to both parties.
"Ironically, the Brazilian decision comes on the heels of real progress. Last Monday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recognized Brazil's successful crackdown on counterfeiting and piracy, moving the country from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List in its annual 'Special 301' report. This progress was the critical factor in making last December's extension of Generalized System of Preferences tariff benefits possible".
"The bottom line is this: Brazil is working to attract investment in innovative industries that rely on IP, and this move will likely cause investments to go elsewhere."
The U.S Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.
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