International Trade Regulation, right from gatt 1947 Agreement to the present day has witnessed a sea change as modes of trading changed with time. The shift from gatt 1947 to gatt 1994 introduced Intellectual Property Rights (ipr) in an effective manner through long years of negotiations. The Agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (trips) became a pillar of the World Trade Organisation (wto). Directly interfacing between gatt and ipr, trips addressed number of issues and forcing many wto members to change their laws, but one of the issues that remained open, was ‘Exhaustion’ of ipr.
This book addresses this issue of exhaustion most vividly, explaining the rationale of patents, managing ubiquity through patent exhaustion. The evolution of exhaustion principle in different jurisdictions is remarkable. Gradually bringing readers to wto regulation, not only different modes of exhaustion and treatment of parallel trade is established, but the exegesis of exhaustion principle under trips as well as gatt and gats is unprecedented. The book’s analyses of mfn and National Treatment and the exceptions to them, supported by detailed elaboration of gatt Panels and Appellate Body Reports is noteworthy. As the author moves to the negotiation history of trips, the meticulous detail, literally takes one back to the negotiations. Interesting to note that the author does not stop at that but studies exhaustion in the plethora of regional trade blocs. Further, the link between Trade Regulations, ipr and Competition Policy which is often overlooked is also well captured. Finally, one of the most critical aspects of public policy, the interface between patents and international trade is captured in every aspect of international trade, leading to the trips amendment.
I commend the author for his painstaking research, robust arguments and vast comparative analyses of different legal jurisdictions. The author’s grasp over the subject speaks about his in-depth knowledge and experience, his ability to explain lucidly is indeed laudable. Such a comprehensive book that covers one of the most complicated issues of patent law, as well as trips, gatt and gats, undoubtedly makes an indispensable reading for those engaged in legal practice, academia and policy making on ipr and wto. I congratulate the author for this valuable contribution to international trade law and ipr scholarship.
Chairman Research and Information System for Developing Countries, New Delhi
Former Ambassador of India to France,
Former Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Bahrain &
Former India’s lead negotiator at the gatt, later at the wto
New Delhi, September 2022