WTO Panel Report – DS362 US v China on IP Measures

On 26 Jan. 2009, a Panel established by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body issued its Report on the case China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (DS362). The United States brought the complaint. The full Report can be found here. An excerpt containing just the Panel’s conclusions and recommendation can be found here. A summary of the case can be found here.

 

ps一点牢骚: 关于中国著作权法第四条的讨论,我在2008年初已经写就万字文章,可惜因为懒于联系杂志,一直未能正式发表,现在想来有些遗憾。如果有需要,可给我发邮件(如果能帮忙推荐发表就更好了,唉……)。

我们缺乏对既存中国著作权法条文的精细研究。轻率的宏大叙事和价值关怀,以及动辄审问“研究意义”的倾向,再加上以翻译外国法为立论基础,忽视中国自身法条解释的奇怪论证逻辑,再三遮蔽了我们的视线。DS362一役,让WTO专家组帮我们解释中国法律,其中尴尬,可堪为戒。

On 26 Jan. 2009, a Panel established by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body issued its Report on the case China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (DS362). The United States brought the complaint. The full Report can be found here. An excerpt containing just the Panel’s conclusions and recommendation can be found here. A summary of the case can be found here.

 

ps一点牢骚: 关于中国著作权法第四条的讨论,我在2008年初已经写就万字文章,可惜因为懒于联系杂志,一直未能正式发表,现在想来有些遗憾。如果有需要,可给我发邮件(如果能帮忙推荐发表就更好了,唉……)。

我们缺乏对既存中国著作权法条文的精细研究。轻率的宏大叙事和价值关怀,以及动辄审问“研究意义”的倾向,再加上以翻译外国法为立论基础,忽视中国自身法条解释的奇怪论证逻辑,再三遮蔽了我们的视线。DS362一役,让WTO专家组帮我们解释中国法律,其中尴尬,可堪为戒。

Lecture – WTO IP Disputes – US v China DS362 DS363

On 2 Dec 2008, invited by my friend Ms. LEE Na, I lectured for 2 hours in English at the bilingual course "Advanced Int’l Trade Law" in School of Law, Kunming University of Sci. & Tech. The topic is: WTO IP Disputes: US v China DS362 & DS363.

 Here is the PPT. It will be updated along with the dispute resolution procedures. Please visit my website for the newest version.

 

On 2 Dec 2008, invited by my friend Ms. LEE Na, I lectured for 2 hours in English at the bilingual course "Advanced Int’l Trade Law" in School of Law, Kunming University of Sci. & Tech. The topic is: WTO IP Disputes: US v China DS362 & DS363.

 Here is the PPT. It will be updated along with the dispute resolution procedures. Please visit my website for the newest version.

 

Professor Peter Yu has a good presentation on the DS362 Panel Report.

"Key Legal Findings and Implications of the US. China Panel Report" (PPT)

Is TRIPS a "Forum Shifting" of WTO?

QUESTION: The inclusion of TRIPS Agreement in the WTO Agreements has been sharply criticized as an act of forum shifting with detrimental effects on the future of the WTO. Discuss this proposition*
 
TITLE:
Critical Analyses to the “Forum Shifting” and “Detrimental Effects” Proposition: from the Approaches of History, Political Science and Positivism Legal Analysis
 
DONG Hao
Nov 2006
 
Table of Contents
 
I. Introduction
II. Some Facts in the History of the TRIPS Agreement Negotiation
III. The “Strategy Linkage” between IP and WTO
IV. Legitimacy of “Forum Shifting”
V. Conclusion
 
QUESTION: The inclusion of TRIPS Agreement in the WTO Agreements has been sharply criticized as an act of forum shifting with detrimental effects on the future of the WTO. Discuss this proposition*
 
TITLE:
Critical Analyses to the “Forum Shifting” and “Detrimental Effects” Proposition: from the Approaches of History, Political Science and Positivism Legal Analysis
 
DONG Hao
Nov 2006
 
Table of Contents
 
I. Introduction
II. Some Facts in the History of the TRIPS Agreement Negotiation
III. The “Strategy Linkage” between IP and WTO
IV. Legitimacy of “Forum Shifting”
V. Conclusion
 
 
 

I. Introduction

Although the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) is usually regarded as one of the three pillar of law family of World Trade organization (WTO), the relationship between intellectual property (IP) and trade seems still being a controversial topic in the legal and political discussions on WTO. Besides questioning the implementation of TRIPS Agreement,[1] it seems that some opponents has sharply criticized the inclusion of TRIPS Agreement in the WTO Agreements as an act of “forum shifting” with “detrimental effects” on the future of the WTO.[2]
 
To discuss this proposition, a person may find many approaches. With the astrologic method, he/she may “back to the future”[3] and make an empirical field survey to the offices, or detribalized sediments, of WTO. With the historical methodology, he/she may revisit the love story between WTO forum and IP issues then confirm whether they are as match as what the proponents of TRIPS Agreement believe in. From the perspective of political science and/or international relationship, he/she may look for the reasonable connection between WTO forum and IP issues, and then politically anticipate the possible evolution of WTO. Insisting on the legal positivism, he/she should read and interpret the documents, and apply the provisions of WTO and/or GATT (before 1994) to justify the above proposition.
 
Being back to the future is not practical, so the second part of this essay will ignore this approach but merely revisit the history of TRIPS Agreement negotiation to clarify whether, when and by what way the “forum” was shifted. Based on the history facts, the third part will focus on the so called “strategy linkage” analysis and illustrate why the forum shifted ultimately before the establishment of WTO. After these two approaches, the fourth part will answer the question on legitimacy of “forum shifting” by reading the binding legal provisions. Finally, the conclusion part will anticipate the future of WTO and summarize the arguments in this short essay.
 
II. Some Facts in the History of the TRIPS Agreement Negotiation
Most people have no ability to augur the destiny of WTO since they may not afford the traveling expenses to the future, whereas it is relatively cheaper to recall the history of the TRIPS Agreement negotiation in WTO. Many people have illustrated the story in details,[4] so it will be redundant to narrate the history of IP issues month by month. What I hope to point out here are some facts which may not be emphasized in the research achievements before, whereas these facts are significant to evaluate the estimation of “detrimental effects”.
 
Firstly, the early draft of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947 (GATT 1947) included clauses that implied an organization such as the International Trade organization (ITO). Because the authority of delegated by the U.S. Congress to the president did not include negotiate an Agreement to establish an international organization, these clauses had to be redrafted. [5] However, the GATT 1947 still designed to operate under the umbrella of the ITO once it came into being.[6] Unfortunately, the Havana Chapter for an International Trade organization never came into force because the U.S. congress did not ratify it, and “no State was interested in establish an organization for trade of which the United States…would not be a member”.[7] This fact reminds us that the GATT 1947 “limped along for nearly forty years”[8] not because of what issues it discussed, but who were discussing the issues.
 
Secondly, in the nearly forty years, the GATT 1947, as an actual forum for multilateral negotiations, had been continuously enlarging its scope of topics, and IP was not the first one that originally not included in the GATT 1947. For instance, neither services nor investment measures are of GATT subjects but are negotiated in UR. Non-tariff barrier is another persuadable example, which is included in the negotiations from Kennedy Round. As Srinivasan stated, “almost all the eight rounds of the MTNs were the outcomes of U.S. initiatives and insistence”.[9]
 
Thirdly, the UR was not initially started for establishing WTO.  It was the U.S. brought the IP issues into the UR negotiation. Nevertheless, the U.S. did not formally agree to establish WTO until December 1993.[11] On the contrary, the inclusion of TRIPS Agreement into the UR discussions started earlier than the inclusion of these new versions of WTO. Until February 1990, it was the Italian Trade Minister Renato Ruggiero first floated the idea of establishing a new international organization for trade, and then Canada and European Community followed the suit.[10] This fact tells us that even in a circumstance in which IP issues had already included, the WTO could also be established. In another word, a logic conclusion from this fact is, at least, the IP issues, was proved empirically, did not beat down the proposals to establish WTO.
 
Fourthly, even in the Havana Charter, the so called “forum shifting” had started. It stated “the Members undertake: not to apply restrictions … to prevent the importation of such minimum quantities of a product as may be necessary to obtain and maintain patent, trade mark, copyright or similar rights under industrial or intellectual property laws.”[12]
 
To sum up, the above revisit of the history answered whether (yes), when (before the proposal of establishing the WTO) and in what way (similar to the other earlier issues such as services, non-tariff barriers and investment measures) the discussion of TRIPS Agreement was shifted to GATT-WTO forum.
 
III. The “Strategy Linkage” between IP and WTO
Sean Pager stated that the WTO has traditionally focused on “negative integration,” i.e., liberalizing trade by reducing tariffs and stripping away regulatory barriers. TRIPS Agreement signaled a controversial shift to a "positive integration" approach that goes beyond de-regulation to affirmatively re-regulate (or harmonize), imposing global standards in place of national ones.[13] If we ignore the mistake, as the above part had illustrated, of not using “GATT” but “WTO”, this statement is correct. In his article, Pager analyzes the TRIPS Agreement as a case study to evaluate the risks which may undermine the WTO’s legitimacy,[14] and conclude that “far from being an unqualified success, the use of linkage to bring TRIPS Agreement into the WTO resulted in a flawed regulatory bargain that might have done more harm than good.”[15] I will not disagree with this conclusion to the linkage strategies in the regulatory dimension. Furthermore, in this dimension, the inclusion of current TRIPS Agreement provisions into the WTO really causes some detrimental effects to the infrastructure of WTO and its Agreement systems.[16]
 
The term of “linkage”, however, is a conception in political science. David W. Leebron illustrated the concept of linkage in details,[17] and the “linkage strategy”[18] used by Pager is distinct to the “strategy linkage”. According to Leebron, “strategy linkage”, different to the “substantive linkage”, is not necessarily based on any connection between the norms but, rather, on negotiation strategies and outcomes.[19] In another word, it is a utilitarian political conception. Although the pure strategic linkage, without any substantive argument, is not generally accepted in multilateral contexts,[20] the main norm in the political concerns on negotiation, if there is one, is reciprocity.[21] On the one hand, to the developing countries, it seems the only way to open the door of the negotiation of agriculture subsidies is to accept IP issues even there are no strong substantive reasons. On the other hand, to the developed countries, although the “positive integration” of TRIPS Agreement may course the great embarrassment to the implementation of WTO law, the only way to pull the developing counties back to the table is to let this embarrassment along.
 
Also, since strategy linkage is a political approach, the “forum shift” becomes reasonable, though it may hurt the proponents of Hans Kelsen’s Grundnorm.[22] Taking the issues on investment measure as an example, investment regime could be incorporated into some existing multilateral institution, such as the IMF, the World Bank, or the WTO. Each of these institutions could make a very substantive claim to being the proper home for a new regime for foreign investment. In the arena of IP, when the selection between WIPO and WTO comes to the political approach, how can one evaluate it with other non-political norms?
 
IV. Legitimacy of “Forum Shifting”
Before start of the legal analysis, I have to remind three important factors in discussing our topic. Firstly, what we are talking about is the impact of the inclusion of TRIPS Agreement to the WTO but not to the WIPO and/or GATT. So the provisions which are used to evaluate the “forum shifting” shall be WTO law. That is, the whole binding sources of WTO regulations, including Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade organization (WTO Agreement) and it’s Annexes and other sources. Secondly, since the aim of legal analysis is merely to judge whether the law be complied correctly, and it can not solve the political controversies, so whether the “forum shifting” leads “detrimental effects” to the world or any member of WTO can not be legally answered in this part. However, in my opinion, the compliance with the WTO law is enough to legitimate the “forum shifting” because, from the approach of legal positivism, correct implementation of law is the standard of legitimacy. Thirdly, what we are doing is evaluate the legitimacy of “the inclusion of TRIPS Agreement in the WTO Agreements” (or “forum shifting”) but the justness of TRIPS Agreement itself.
 
It is very easy to find many articles in WTO Agreement that legitimate the act of “forum shifting”. In Preamble, which be recognized binding,[23] the objectives of the WTO leaves the space for the WTO forum to the IP issues on the increase of standards of living and the growth of real income and effective demand. If this is still controversial, the Article III of the WTO Agreement clearly states:
 
The WTO shall provide the forum for negotiations among its Members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the Agreements in the Annexes to this Agreement. The WTO may also provide a forum for further negotiations among its Members concerning their multilateral trade relations, and a framework for the implementation of the results of such negotiations, as may be decided by the Ministerial Conference.
 
TRIPS Agreement is without-question one of the Agreements in the Annexes. So the discussion of IP, even it is a“forum shifting”from WIPO, is actually a legitimate activity. There are many more other provisions legitimate the forum shifting and it is not necessary to list all of them out. What I will further illustrate here is the case of the Amendment to the TRIPS Agreement in August 2003.[24] It is a great production of the nearly ten year’s discussion in the WTO forum, and it also self-legitimated the inclusion of TRIPS Agreement and the forum shifting.
 
V. Conclusion
The proposition of “the inclusion of TRIPS Agreement in the WTO Agreements is an act of forum shifting with detrimental effects on the future of the WTO” is so strong at the first glance. However, when we analysis this argument by the historical, political and the positivist approaches, the self-contradiction of this statement floats to the surface immediately. From the historical perspective, this proposition confused the evolution process from the GATT 1947 to the WTO; from the positivist legal approach, this proposition ignored the fact that the TRIPS Agreement is a part of the system of WTO law, so the forum for the TRIPS Agreement is not only a merit to the discussion the improvement of binding law but also a requirement of implementing the law. As to the political approach, one should only follow the standards of the political science, which is utilitarian balance the interests by the way of reciprocity, when he is evaluating some political acts. Eventually, the opposition to the proposition discussed in this essay is not equal to the embrace to every provision of the TRIPS Agreement and other WTO laws.




* This question was raised in the WTO Law course in City University of Hong Kong, School of Law; Course Leader: Mr Hans Mahnke.
[1] For instance, the effect to the newly amendments of IP legislations fulfilling the requirements of TRIPS AGREEMENT in developing countries is doubtful. See J. H. Reichman, Enforcing the Enforcement Procedures of the TRIPS Agreement Obligations, in Thomas Cottier and Peros C. Mavioidis, ed. Intellectual Property: Trade, Competition and Sustainable Development (2004), p. 11.Another example is the issues on the harmonization and application of Disputes Settlement Understanding (DSU) to the IP rights. See Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann ed. International Trade Law and the GATT/WTO Dispute Settlement System (Kluwer Law International: London, Hague, Boston, 1997), pp. 89, 93.
[2]I actually have not found an exact word by word expression of this proposition. However, some relative arguments are found. Of the “forum shifting” narrative, Peter K. Yu mentioned that the including of IP discussions in the Uruguay Round “was the breakdown of the 1981 Diplomatic Conference in Nairobi over the revision of the Paris Convention that forced developed countries to shift to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/WTO forum.” See Peter K. Yu, TRIPS Agreement and Discontents, 10 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 369, at 375, 376. Of “detrimental effects”, by concluding Peter Gakunu’s proposition, Christopher May said that “even in 1989 for many it was clear what the detrimental effects of an international trade agreement on IPRs would likely be.” Nevertheless, one should be reminded that May was not talking about the “detrimental effects” on WTO but the “detrimental effects” on IPRs. See Christopher May, Cosmopolitan Legalism Meets ‘Thin Community’: Problems in the Global Governance of Intellectual Property. Government and Opposition 39 (3), (2004), 393-422; and Peter Gakunu, Intellectual Property: Perspective of the Developing World, 19 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 358 (1989)., at 375, 376. Of “detrimental effects”, by concluding Peter Gakunu’s proposition, Christopher May said that “even in 1989 for many it was clear what the detrimental effects of an international trade agreement on IPRs would likely be.” Nevertheless, one should be reminded that May was not talking about the “detrimental effects” on WTO but the “detrimental effects” on IPRs. See Christopher May, Cosmopolitan Legalism Meets ‘Thin Community’: Problems in the Global Governance of Intellectual Property. , (2004), 393-422; and Peter Gakunu, Intellectual Property: Perspective of the Developing World, (1989).
[3] Back to the Future is a U.S. movie in 1985 directed by Robert Zemeckis; see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088763/, visited on 12, Oct. 2006.
[4] See T. N. Srinivasan, Developing Countries and the Multilateral Trading System (Westview Press, 1998); John Jackson, The World Trade organization: Constitution and Jurisprudence (Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1998); and Adronico O Aded, origins and History of the TRIPS Agreement Negotiations, in C. Bellmann, G. Dutfild and Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz ed., Trading in Knowledge (ICTSD, 2003).
[5] T. N. Srinivasan, Developing Countries and the Multilateral Trading System (Westview Press, 1998), p. 10.
[6] Id., p. 11.
[7] Peter Van den Bossche, The Law and policy of the World Trade organization (Cambridge, 2005), p. 80.
[8] John Jackson, The World Trading System (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989), p. 89.
[9] T. N. Srinivasan, Developing Countries and the Multilateral Trading System (Westview Press, 1998), p. 32.
[10] T. Stewart, The GATT Uruguay Round (Klumer Law and Taxation, 1993), Vol. III, pp. 1942-1943.
[11] Peter Van den Bossche, The Law and policy of the World Trade organization (Cambridge, 2005), p. 81.
[12] See Article 21.3. (c) of Havana Charter for An International Trade organization. http://www.wto.org/English/docs_e/legal_e/havana_e.pdf.
[13] Sean Pager, TRIPS Agreement: A Link Too Far? A Proposal for Procedural Restraint on the Regulatory Linkage in the WTO, 10 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 215, at 217.
[14] Ibid. at 238.
[15] Ibid. at 249.
[16] See Shujie Feng, SHI LUN WTO ZHENG DUAN JIE JUE JI ZHI ZAI TRIPS XIE YI GUO NEI SHI SHI LING YU DE JU XIAN XING, Vol. 3 Global Law Review 2006 (Beijing).
[17] See David W. Leebron, The Boundaries of the WTO: Linkages, 96 A.J.I.L. 5, at 6-11.
[18] Sean Pager, TRIPS Agreement: A Link Too Far? A Proposal for Procedural Restraint on the Regulatory Linkage in the WTO, 10 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 215, at 252.
[19] See David W. Leebron, The Boundaries of the WTO: Linkages, 96 A.J.I.L. 5, at 11.
[20] Ibid. at 14.
[21] See Robert O. Keohane, Reciprocity in International Relations, 40 INT’L orG. 1 (1986); Alan L. Winters, Reciprocity, in The Uruguay Round: A Handbook on the multilateral Trade Negotiations (J. Michael Finger & Andrzej Olechowski eds., 1987), p. 45.
[22] See Hans Kelsen, The Pure Theory of Law (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967).
[23] Peter Van den Bossche, The Law and policy of the World Trade organization (Cambridge, 2005), p. 87.
[24] See Implementation of Paragraph 11 of the General Council Decision of 30 August on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration of the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health: proposal for a Decision on an Amendment to the TRIPS Agreement, IP/C/41 (6 December 2005); and Doha Work Programme: Ministerial Declaration, WT/MN(05)/W/3/Rev. 2 (18 December 2005), at Para. 40.
 
tags:知识产权,TRIPS,WTO

美中两项WTO知识产权纠纷均进入调查阶段

  11月27日,世界知识产权组织争端解决机构(DSB)就美国提出的“中国不公平地限制版权产品进入市场”的起诉(WT/DS363/5)正式组成专家组,案件进入调查程序。

 

  今年4月10日,美国根据WTO争端解决程序,提出针对中国的两项磋商请求。这两项请求都是有关知识产权问题的:一是关于中国对版权及商标侵权的惩罚力度问题二是有关版权作品的市场进入障碍问题8月13日,按照WTO争端解决的程序,美国提出了建立争端解决专家组的要求。2007年8月31日的DSB会议上,美国代表正式就上述第一项投诉(WT/DS362/7)提出了组建专家组的要求(点这里看我的日志),其诉求主要是:在关于达到“商业规模”的商标假冒和盗版的刑事诉讼程序和刑事责任安排方面,中国的标准制定得过高,从而使本该受到刑事检控的案件得到豁免,这项投诉的专家组于9月25日建立。

  11月27日,世界知识产权组织争端解决机构(DSB)就美国提出的“中国不公平地限制版权产品进入市场”的起诉(WT/DS363/5)正式组成专家组,案件进入调查程序。

 

  今年4月10日,美国根据WTO争端解决程序,提出针对中国的两项磋商请求。这两项请求都是有关知识产权问题的:一是关于中国对版权及商标侵权的惩罚力度问题二是有关版权作品的市场进入障碍问题8月13日,按照WTO争端解决的程序,美国提出了建立争端解决专家组的要求。2007年8月31日的DSB会议上,美国代表正式就上述第一项投诉(WT/DS362/7)提出了组建专家组的要求(点这里看我的日志),其诉求主要是:在关于达到“商业规模”的商标假冒和盗版的刑事诉讼程序和刑事责任安排方面,中国的标准制定得过高,从而使本该受到刑事检控的案件得到豁免,这项投诉的专家组于9月25日建立。

 

  10月11日,美国就第二项投诉正式提交了组成专家组的要求,按照程序,将于11月19日建立,但由于台湾对中国法官张月姣的抵制,这次DSB例会被迫暂停。本周四(11月27日),问题获得了解决,DSB会议重启,并决定了上述第二项投诉(WT/DS363/5)专家组的建立,根据规则,专家组完成调查,提交报告的时间限制是六个月。在这项投诉中,美国认为(1)中国对进口电影和国产电影进入院线放映规定了不同的制度,从而导致进口电影的发行遭到歧视性地待遇( “less favourable distribution opportunities for imported films for theatrical release than for like domestic films” );(2)在录音制品发行服务及录音制品贸易方面,中国的相似服务提供者(like service suppliers)和相似产品(like products)获得了比国外的服务商和产品更好的待遇( “less favourable opportunities for foreign suppliers of sound recording distribution services and for the distribution of imported sound recordings than are provided to like service suppliers and like products")。简单地讲,就是中国的相关管制政策导致美国电影作品在中国的放映及录音制品在中国的发行遭受了非国民待遇。

 

  此外,值得记录的是,中国于11月28日向WTO提交了一份通知,确认自己正式批准了TRIPS公共健康方面的条款进行修改的2005修正案,在此前一天,香港也通知WTO自己批准了该修正案。这一对TRIPS的修正的主要内容是:允许向缺乏相关药品生产能力的国家出口基于强制许可而生产的药品。目前包括中国在内有13个WTO成员批准了议定书,根据原先的决定,这个修正案必须在2007年12月1日以前获得三分之二WTO成员(目前来说是151个成员中的101个)的批准才能正式生效。在10月23日的TRIPS会议上(TRIPS Council),所有成员国同意将这个期限延长到2009年12月31日(点这里看批准修正案的国家列表)。2005年12月6日,世界贸易组织总理事会通过了《修改〈与贸易有关的知识产权协定〉议定书》,规定在符合有关条件的前提下,各成员可以授予其企业生产并出口特定专利药品的强制许可,突破了原协定关于强制许可的使用应主要为供应国内市场的规定。

 

tags:DSB,TRIPS,WTO,美国

美国:“小两口一起耍我?”——关于台湾抵制张月姣任WTO法官的胡诌

  先来段荤的:

“……这西门庆故意把袖子在桌上一拂,将那双筷拂落在地下来。一来也是缘法凑巧,那双筷正落在妇人脚边。这西门庆连忙将身下去拾筷,只见妇人尖尖巧巧刚三寸。一对小小金莲,正巧在筷边。西门庆且不拾筷,便去她绣花鞋头上只一捏。那妇人笑将起来……”

  根据我的胡诌,中国文化中有相当多的虐恋基因,这三寸金莲就是一个典型的例子——外国人可能觉得那小脚很恶心,可当年的中国男女们,指不定在把玩这一双双“小鞋”的过程中,获得了多少乐趣呢。

  先来段荤的:

“……这西门庆故意把袖子在桌上一拂,将那双筷拂落在地下来。一来也是缘法凑巧,那双筷正落在妇人脚边。这西门庆连忙将身下去拾筷,只见妇人尖尖巧巧刚三寸。一对小小金莲,正巧在筷边。西门庆且不拾筷,便去她绣花鞋头上只一捏。那妇人笑将起来……”

  根据我的胡诌,中国文化中有相当多的虐恋基因,这三寸金莲就是一个典型的例子——外国人可能觉得那小脚很恶心,可当年的中国男女们,指不定在把玩这一双双“小鞋”的过程中,获得了多少乐趣呢。

 

  张月姣律师担任WTO争端解决机构上诉法官的事,习惯性“自豪”的中国媒体在11月19号WTO开会决定任命前,就已经用《张月姣:WTO首位“中国大法官”》一类标题来作为报道了。没想到,阿扁政府利用WTO决议必须所有成员一致同意的法律规则,撒了一回娇,杯葛了这个提案(严格说不应该叫杯葛,因为杯葛是boycott -“联合抵制”,但这次没有WTO成员支持台湾)。这一回和“入联”还不同,全世界没有任何国家支持台湾,我估计爱国青年的肾上腺肯定是憋足了劲。

  可是,既然“穿小鞋”曾经很浪漫,那么我们是不是也可以换个角度,把这次事件看成小两口“打是亲、骂是爱”的又一场情感纠葛呢?

  当然,这是我胡诌的。不过,至少从结果上看,这胡诌倒还真能找到那么一点靠谱的地方。

  11月19号的会,除了本来板上定钉的法官任命决定外,还有一项与中国有关的重要议题,那就是决定对成专家组(类似一审),解决美国对中国提出的一项知识产权纠纷(WT/DS363/5),这起案件中,美国认为中国的法律法规不合理地妨碍了美国企业在中国销售电影、书籍、报纸、杂志和音像制品,美国认为中国的市场准入制度涉嫌歧视(IPW, US Policy, 11 October 2007)。在9月25日的会上,另一项美国对中国的起诉(WT/DS362/7)的专家组已经成立,那项起诉中,美国认为中国的刑事法律对打击盗版和商标侵权的力度不够(点这里看我的日志)。本来这一次会上,WT/DS363/5的专家组应该是会成立的,但这次台湾撒娇的手法很特别,它是在进入议题的实体讨论前,提出程序性的动议,要求把是否任命中国法官的议题从会议中撤除,因而是程序性地中断了会议。所以美中知识产权纠纷成立专家组的事,也就出乎意料地被拖延了。此外,这次总共是要任命四位法官,除了中国提名的张律师外,另外三名分别来自美国、日本和菲律宾。而这次台湾撒娇,也连带着让美国的法官不能得到任命。

  总之,小鞋,和缠在郝斯佳腰上的束身衣一样,都源于某种神秘的激素,虽然中国和台湾事先约好这么干的可能性不大,但这次美国佬的确成了冤大头。

tags:DSB,TRIPS,WTO,美国,台湾

美中WTO知识产权争端的进展

  今年4月10日,美国根据WTO争端解决程序,提出针对中国的两项磋商请求。这两项请求都是有关知识产权问题的:一是关于中国对版权及商标侵权的惩罚力度问题二是有关版权作品的市场进入障碍问题。在读到这个消息后,我写了一篇名为《What are the US’ IPR Consultations indeed?》的日志,其中表达了自己的观点——撇开政治性考虑不谈,只讲法律问题的话,对于第一项,关键的问题在于”Commercial Scale“的解释问题(这也很可能是未来的Panel Report的看点之一)。至于第二项,如果考虑到中国对国内的作品也采取审查措施的话,那么中国还是没有违反国民待遇和最惠国待遇原则。

  五个月过去了,美中知识产权纠纷也有了一些进展——当然这些进展主要是在程序上的——以下对这些进展做一个简单的记录。

  2007年4月10日,美国根据WTO争端解决程序,提出针对中国的两项磋商请求。这两项请求都是有关知识产权问题的:一是关于中国对版权及商标侵权的惩罚力度问题二是有关版权作品的市场进入障碍问题。在读到这个消息后,我写了一篇名为《What are the US’ IPR Consultations indeed?》的日志,其中表达了自己的观点——撇开政治性考虑不谈,只讲法律问题的话,对于第一项,关键的问题在于”Commercial Scale“的解释问题(这也很可能是未来的Panel Report的看点之一)。至于第二项,如果考虑到中国对国内的作品也采取审查措施的话,那么中国还是(也许是令人遗憾地)没有违反国民待遇和最惠国待遇原则。

  五个月过去了,美中知识产权纠纷也有了一些进展——当然这些进展主要是在程序上的——以下对这些进展做一个简单的记录。

  虽然WTO规定双方磋商的时间为60天,但实际上中美双方接触的时间只有四天。从6月5日到6月8日。其中5号6号两天讨论第一项投诉;7、8号两天讨论第二项投诉,这几天的谈判没有达成任何协议。中国方面强调根据TRIPS协议第1.1条,WTO成员有自由采用适合于各自的法制及实践的方式去履行协议中规定的义务。而中国是严格地履行了WTO协议的,至于超过TRIPS的义务,中国不必去履行……云云——“IP Dragon”博客很简要地总结了中国的态度:我们一直都觉得知识产权保护很重要,我们也尊重自己对WTO的承诺,我们已经有了很大的进展,TRIPS上说了我们可以通过自己的方式去履行义务,作为发展中国家的我们不需要做超出TRIPS协议义务的事。

  8月13日,按照WTO争端解决的程序,美国提出了建立争端解决专家组的要求,点这里看美国贸易代表办公室的新闻稿。按照WTO争端解决机构(DSB)的程序,2007年8月31日的DSB会议上,美国代表正式就上述第一项投诉(WT/DS362/7)提出了组建专家组的要求(其理由其实和一开始稍有不同了,点这里看美国代表在会议中的陈词),主要内容如下(我归纳的,不是逐字翻译):

  美国觉得中国的盗版形势仍然很严峻,而中国对知识产权的保护仍然不足,中美就此进行过一些双边磋商。虽然中国在知识产权保护方面做了很多工作,但是美国认为中国的法律体制中仍然存在着事实上妨碍知识产权保护和执行的地方,而这些法律需要提交到DSB中进行评判:
  第一,中国的刑法中对盗版和商标侵权行为设置了刑事检控的门槛,而这些门槛使一些已经达到商业规模(commercial scale)的侵权行为免于遭到刑事追诉和处罚。例如,中国规定:500份以上的盗版才会受到刑事检控,美国难以理解为什么中国的法律要让检察机关对被发现制造了499份盗版复制件的人袖手旁观。
  第二,中国的海关制度中,对查没的侵权品的处理也让美国难以接受。只要去除了侵权的商标,中国海关似乎就会同意将这些产品流入市场。美国认为这样的制度对假冒产品的生产及贸易没有起到有效的威慑作用。
  第三,对未经官方许可出版或发行的作品(即所谓“扫黄打非”中的“非”),中国没有提供版权法上的保护。也就是说,如果一个版权人没有获得官方的出版或发行许可,那么中国法律中对版权侵权的民事和刑事救济之门也是对他关闭的。美国认为,这种只保护经许可出版发行的作品的制度,违背了中国加入WTO的承诺。
  总之,美国认为中国以上三个方面的做法与TRIPS协议不符,中美磋商尽管澄清了其中的一些问题,但仍然没有能解决双方在这些问题上的争议。所以,美国请求DSB成立专家组,对这些问题进行评判。

  根据法新社的消息,在8月31日的DSB会议上,中国暂时阻止了美国的上述动议(但同时,美国和墨西哥共同提出的另一项针对中国的工业补贴的、成立专家组的要求则得到了满足——(WT/DS358/13))。根据争端解决规则,DSB必须在9月14日的例会中作出成立专家组的决定——除非美国在此期间放弃其要求。

Update20081011:

2008年7月18日,对于DS362,专家组由于问题的复杂性,未能在六个月内提出报告(参见WT/DS362/9)。因此,专家组的报告将于2008年11月提出。

2008年9月13日,对于DS363,专家组也未能在六个月内提出报告(参见WT/DS363/7)。专家组的报告将在2009年2月提出。


附1:台湾WTO中心争端案件资料库整理的资料索引:

文件日期 文件編號 標題
 2007/4/16  WT/DS362/1, G/L/819, IP/D/26  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Request for Consultations by the United States
 2007/4/24  WT/DS362/2  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Request to Join Consultations – Communication from Japan
 2007/4/27  WT/DS362/4  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Request to Join Consultations – Communication from Canada
 2007/4/27  WT/DS362/5  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Request to Join Consultations – Communication from Mexico
 2007/5/25  WT/DS362/6  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Acceptance by China of the Requests to Join Consultations
 2007/8/21  WT/DS362/7  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Request for the Establishment of a Panel by the United States
 2007/12/13  WT/DS362/8  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Constitution of the Panel Established at the Request of the United States – Note by the Secretariat
 2008/7/18  WT/DS362/9  China – Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – Communication from the Chairman of the Panel

  

文件日期 文件編號 標題
 2007/4/16  WT/DS363/1, G/L/820, S/L/287  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Request for Consultations by the United States
 2007/4/27  WT/DS363/2  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Request to Join Consultations – Communication from the European Communities
 2007/5/25  WT/DS363/3  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Acceptance by China of the Request to Join Consultations
 2007/7/16  WT/DS363/1/Add.1, G/L/820/Add.1, S/L/287/Add.1  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Request for Consultations by the United States – Addendum
 2007/7/26  WT/DS363/4  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Request to Join Consultations – Communication from the European Communities
 2007/10/11  WT/DS363/5  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Request for the Establishment of a Panel by the United States
 2008/3/28  WT/DS363/6  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Constitution of the Panel Established at the Request of the United State[…]ates – Note by the Secretariat
 2008/9/23  WT/DS363/7  China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products – Communication from the Chairman of the Panel

 

 附2:WTO争端解决程序简介(参考了这里,但有增删)

  (一)   磋商程序
  磋商是争端解决的第一个阶段,是指两个或两个以上成员为使问题得到解决或达成谅解进行国际交涉的一种方式。WTO鼓励成员首先通过磋商解决争端
  1.磋商的一般程序
  (1)争端一方如果觉得另一方违反了WTO的某个协定,就可以向争端对方提出磋商请求;
  (2)接到磋商请求的争端方应在10天内做出答复;
  (3)在收到请求后不超过30天内,双方应开始磋商。在紧急情况下,包括涉及易腐货品的争端,应在收到请求后不超过10天的时间内进行磋商。
  2.磋商的规则
  (1)请求磋商的争端方应向争端解决机构及有关理事会书面通报其关于磋商的请求,说明提出磋商的理由,包括争端的核实材料及申诉的法律依据。
  (2)磋商应秘密进行;
  (3)磋商不损害任何一方在进一步程序中的权利;
  (4)每个成员方要对磋商的请求提供充分的机会;
  (5)在根据某个协议的规定而进行磋商的过程中,各成员应力求使事件的调解得到另人满意的结果;
  (6)磋商过程中,应特别注意发展中国家的各项特殊问题和利益;
  (7)有重大贸易利益的其他成员方,可在该磋商的请求分发之日起10天内,向参与磋商的各成员和争端解决机构通告其参与加磋商的意愿,经同意后可参与磋商。
  (二)调解程序
  调解程序的正式名称是“斡旋、调解和调停程序”。该程序是在争端双方同意的基础上自愿进行的。进行程序的请求可由争端任何一方在任何时候提出,也可在任何时候终止。一旦调解程序终止,申诉方可提出成立专家组的要求。如果争端各方同意,在专家组程序进行过程中,仍可继续进行调解程序。WTO总干事以其职务资格进行斡旋、调解、调停以协助各成员解决争端。在进行调解程序时,应为争端当事方所持立场保密,并应无损于任何一个当事方依照程序进行下一个诉讼程序的权益。
  (三)专家组程序
  有下列情况之一时,申诉方可要求成立专家组进入下一程序:
  (1)争端另一方收到请求后10天内未做答复;
  (2)争端另一方收到请求后30天内(或双方另外同意期限内)未进入磋商;
  (3)争端另一方收到请求后60天内磋商未果;
  (4)紧急情况下,争端另一方收到请求后20天内磋商未果;
  (5)若参与磋商的所有当事方一致认为该争端无法通过磋商解决,则申诉方可在60天的期限内提出成立专家组的请求。
  专家组程序是争端解决机制的核心部分。
  首先,专家组听取争端各方陈述和答辩意见;
  然后,专家组将报告初稿的叙述部分(事实和理由)分发给争端各方,等待其提交书面意见;
  接着,在收到书面意见后,专家组应在调查、取证的基础上完成中期报告,再散发给各方评议,中期报告包括叙述部分、调查结果和结论。
  争端各方可以书面要求专家组在提交最终报告前对中期报告进行审查。如专家组在规定时间内未收到该要求,则中期报告应视为专家组的最终报告,并迅速散发给各成员方。
  一般说来,专家组应在6个月内(紧急情况下3个月)完成全部工作,并提交最终报告,最长不得超过9个月。应申诉方要求,专家组可暂停工作,但期限不得超过12个月。如超过12个月,设立专家组的授权即告终止。
  在最终报告散发给各成员60天内,除非争端当事方正式通知争端解决机构其上诉决定,或争端解决机构经协商“一致决定”不通过该报告(这是不可能的,因为胜诉方是不可能不同意该报告,此乃WTO争端解决措施有效的关键),否则该报告应在争端解决机构会议上予以通过。
  (四)上诉程序
  DSB设立了由7人组成的“常设上诉机构”,以受理争端当事方就专家组报告提出的上诉。上诉机构只审理专家组报告中所涉及的法律问题和专家组所做的法律解释。上诉案审理期限原则为60天到90天。上诉机构可以维持、修正、撤消专家组的裁决结论。上诉机构的裁决为终局意见,当事方应无条件接受,除非争端解决机构一致反对。
  (五)裁决执行
  专家组或上诉机构的结论报告或建议,经争端解决机构通过后成为后者的正式建议或裁决,有关成员应及时履行。具体的监督措施有:
  1.执行期限:在专家组或上诉机构报告通过后的30天内举行的争端解决机构会议上,有关成员应将其执行争端解决机制建议与裁决的打算通知争端解决机制。如果该成员不能及时履行有关建议与裁决,他应在一个合理的期限内来履行。专家组或上诉机构的建议期限不得超过15个月。
  2.补偿与减让的中止以及“交叉报复”
  如果被诉方的措施被认定违反了WTO的有关规定,且其未在合理期限内执行了争端解决机构的建议和裁决,则被诉方应申诉方请求,必须在合理期限届满前与申诉方进行补偿谈判。如果在合理期限届满前双方没有就补偿达成一致,申诉方可要求争端解决机构授权对被诉方进行报复,即中止对被诉方承担的减让或其他义务(这个授权是对所有成员的授权,也就是说,所有成员都可以中止其对被诉方的义务)。
  争端解决机构应在合理期限届满后30天内给予相应授权(除非经所有WTO成员协商一致拒绝授权,但前面说了,这是不可能的)。
  报复措施是临时性的。只要出现以下任何一种情况,报复措施就应终止:
  (1)被认定违反WTO有关协定或协议的措施被撤消;
  (2)被诉方对申诉方所受的利益损害提供了解决办法;
  (3)争端各方达成了相互满意的解决办法。
 
 WTO 争端解决程序略图
                  磋商
                          
     DSB决定成立专家组
                      
      专家组组成
              
   专家组审查,与争端各方及第三方举行会议
           
   中期审议阶段                           所有这些阶段:斡旋、调解和调停
                 
  专家组提交DSB报告
       |
   ————————————————
  ↓                 ↓  

  DSB通过专家组报告                          上诉复审
          |                                            
   |           DSB通过上诉复审报告
         ↓               ↓
DSB监督实施已经通过的专家组或上诉机构的建议或裁决      
             |

     ————————————————–
     ↓                 ↓

败诉方在合理时间内履行裁决                      败诉方未在合理时间内履行裁决
                                                                   
                   补偿、减让中止或交叉报复(即跨协议的报复)