Members reached consensus on the 13-year extension of the current transition period, which was set to expire on 1 July 2021, at a formal meeting of the TRIPS Council on 29 June.
Since the inception of the TRIPS Agreement, LDCs have benefitted from an extended transition period to apply provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, in recognition of their special requirements, their economic, financial and administrative constraints, and their need for flexibility in order to create a viable technological base. The transition period for LDC members under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement had been extended twice before (in 2005 and 2013).
The decision adopted was the result of intensive consultations over several months. Members were broadly in agreement on the principle of the extension but were unable to reach a decision due to their differences on the additional request that members graduating from LDC status should be accorded additional flexibilities under the TRIPS Agreement after their graduation.