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Antigua To Monetize Suspended US IP Rights

by Mike Godfrey,, New York

31 October 2013

Antigua and Barbuda's WTO Remedies Implementation Committee has convened a meeting aimed at "harvesting benefits" from the suspension of United States intellectual property rights as sanctioned by the World Trade Organization.

Earlier this year the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruled that the Caribbean territory could suspend selected US intellectual property rights to the tune of USD21m per year as compensation for US measures blocking online gambling in the US.

The WTO Remedies Implementation Committee, which is made up of experts in the areas of intellectual property rights legislation, international trade policy and law, information technology and economics, is said to be recommending that the government establish a statutory body to own, manage and operate a platform tasked with monetizing or otherwise taking advantage of the suspension of US intellectual property rights.

The necessary domestic legislation for carrying out the WTO remedies is in the final stages of preparation for submission to Parliament, according to a government press release.

It is also expected that an announcement will soon be made regarding opening the platform to private sector involvement, the release said.

Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer, said: "In the face of the ongoing failure of the United States to negotiate with Antigua and Barbuda a reasonable settlement of this dispute, the implementation of trade remedies awarded by the WTO is an important international responsibility; and I am pleased that the Committee continues working with expedience, meeting as scheduled and focusing on its mandate to utilize the WTO remedies in a responsible and proper manner. This will give Antigua and Barbuda a tangible benefit for our years of perseverance on this matter. Be assured that resolving the WTO Gaming case in a fair, reasonable and positive way is a top priority of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda."

TAGS: economics | law | intellectual property | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | gambling | legislation | Antigua and Barbuda | United States | trade

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