A report by the WTO Unit at the Ministry of Industry & Trade expects that the new patent law will come into force shortly. The report outlined that it is expected that the new law, along with Jordan’s highly qualified work force, will encourage an influx of foreign pharmaceutical firms investing in Jordan. In response Jordanian Companies are collaborating with other foreign companies, one such example lead two small Jordanian pharmaceutical companies recently to merged and then collaborated with a foreign firm to produce hormones and insulin, for sale in the Middle Eastern markets.
The report, titled "Tackling the Challenges Facing the Jordanian Pharmaceutical Sector", stated that the TRIPs agreement, which covers all aspects of intellectual property - patents, copyrights, geographical indications, and industrial designs - has made it obligatory for member countries to enforce intellectual property rights. The new patent law will protect both process and product patents. This protection will have a major impact on the pharmaceutical industry, as firms will no longer be able to infringe on patented products and will only be able to produce pharmaceuticals with a license and by paying royalties to the patent owners.
This issue was of most concern to the pharmaceutical industry as was noted during Jordan’s negotiations for accession to the WTO. Jordan requested a transitional grace period to implement the conditions stated in order to allow Jordanian firms time to adjust. Some WTO members agreed but stipulated protection of pharmaceuticals with retroactive effect back to 1995 against a three-year grace period.
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