logo logo

IPR: “TRIPS-plus” through EFTA’s back door (updated)

Berne Declaration, Switzerland

November 2004

The Free Trade Agreements concluded between the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - and a number of developing countries contain provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) which go far beyond the obligations already imposed on these countries in the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, contrary to the discussions around the WTO these agreements attract hardly any attention, even though their consequences for the developing countries concerned are very problematic: Farmers rights are restricted and the patenting of life forms is extended; both to the benefit of transnational corporations (such as the Swiss based agrochemical and seed company Syngenta) and to the cost of small farmers in developing countries.

The full article (10 pages) could be downloaded at