Jordan adheres to WTO rules, in particular the TRIPS agreement, but the regulatory environment is still facing criticism.
Prior to developments in the late 1990s, Jordan was regularly placed on the USTR 301 Priority Watch List for copyright infringement and breaking patent laws. Since its accession to the WTO, Jordan has demonstrated its commitment to WTO rules, in particular the TRIPS agreement. This is exemplified by the recent improvements to, and enforcement of, intellectual property protection.
Jordan’s regulatory environment has been criticised in the past, mainly by international manufacturers, for regulatory discrimination in favour of domestic companies, as the approval time seemed to be much shorter for local products and there have been reports of these products ‘queue-jumping’ others.
However, Jordan has since made significant inroads into improving and enforcing IP protection. This has led to Jordanian authorities now being criticised by domestic producers, over the blocked registration of 39 pharmaceuticals, as they infringe copyright laws.
While this change of attitude towards IP laws has produced criticism from and problems for some domestic producers, the overall effect of an improved IP business environment has arguably been beneficial. In particular, the pharmaceutical industry as a whole is expected to benefit from increased foreign direct investment and more international companies considering joint ventures or subcontracting.
Further reading - A detailed review of the Jordanian pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: Jordan (published April 2010)