This case law database consists of a systematic collection of the summaries of notable judgments adopted by national or regional judicial organs of the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The summaries have been developed with a view to support a better understanding of key intellectual property issues that relate to access to medicines. The selection of the cases is based on the importance of judicial practices for a better understanding of the interface between intellectual property rights and access to medicines. The case law database was developed and is being maintained as part of the UNCTAD intellectual property programme.
Despite the international minimum standards adopted under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), countries have adopted different approaches, legal concepts and standards of review on patents and medicines. For this reason, the summaries under this database present the factual and legal issues as discussed in the relevant judgments. However, the summaries also contain additional information on the jurisprudence and the applicable laws that may not be contained in the judgement itself in order to help readers in other jurisdictions understand the context of each decision. This is the case especially when a judgment is selected as an elaboration or clarification of a previous decision or a legal concept unique to the country in which the judgement was made.
The case law database is the product of UNCTAD's Intellectual Property Unit's work for over a decade on public health. It has been updated with the support of the South Centre. This case law database is also available on the website of the South Centre. UNCTAD has provided advisory services and capacity building programs for judges, regulatory authorities, private sector and civil society in many developing countries. This work has been implemented with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the South Centre.