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Replacing Slingshots with Swords: Implications of the Antigua-Gambling 22.6 Panel Report for Developing Countries and the World Trading System

Posted by on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Notes, Vol. 42 No. 3, Volume 42, Volumes.

In December 2007, the WTO awarded Antigua the right to suspend TRIPS obligations at a value of $21 million.  This decision represents the WTO’s continuing evolution into a body capable of addressing the concerns of developed countries while balancing the legitimate interests of developed nations.  For the second time, the WTO has authorized suspension of intellectual property protection under the TRIPS agreement.  Such a remedy, if widely adopted, has the capacity to address concerns surrounding effective retaliation by small economies versus large economies, which traditionally have discouraged developing countries from participating in WTO dispute resolution.  Additionally, the remedy seems likely to increase compliance because it constitutes a significant threat to developed nations.  Because the recent decision seems to increase both participation and compliance in the dispute resolution system, this Note argues that the decision represents an important and effective step in WTO jurisprudence.

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