Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexico)
208. The representative of Argentina associated herself with the comments made by Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, on the issue of administrative costs. Agreeing with Australia, she said that it was highly relevant to discuss bilateral agreements, because that was the only practical experience available in the international arena in this regard. Another important point that should not be forgotten in the context of extension was the negotiations regarding the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of wines. Delegations that had argued that the exceptions would remain applicable did not seem to have the same view when they discussed that multilateral system, under which the applicability of these exceptions would be decided within opposition procedures rather than by the national jurisdiction of each country, as it would be the case under the system her delegation, along with other delegations, had proposed. She also doubted whether the exceptions would continue to apply since in many bilateral agreements none of the exceptions of the TRIPS Agreement had been able to survive. She asked from the demandeurs whether the exception in Article 24.4 had ever been incorporated into any bilateral agreement, and whether they expressly recognized this exception as applicable and if they respected it in regard to wines and spirits. 209. She also wanted to know how a GI was protected in sui generis systems for GIs? In the informal session of 10 November 2002, a delegation had specifically asked from the Swiss delegation how it had negotiated in respect of the GI "Champagne", because it appeared that there had been no negotiation based on Article 23.3 and that Switzerland had renounced the use of this homonymous GI. Responding to Switzerland's statement that extension equally interested both developed and developing countries, she also said that this issue did not interest developing countries as it interested developed countries. There were many developing countries in the TRIPS Council that had expressed that they were not favourable to extension. She wondered whether developing countries were in a position to accept higher additional obligations in intellectual property within this multilateral trade system, while many of these same countries were still facing problems implementing the obligations already negotiated in the Uruguay Round. 210. Noting that it was still being argued that developing countries saw extension as an advantage because this would favour their exports in the world market, she said that she could not understand how an intellectual property right would improve market access. If Argentina protected its cheeses through GIs, how would this overcome the tariff and non-tariff barriers, and the sanitary barriers that existed for diary products? In fact, demandeurs were mixing things that had nothing to do with each other. If there was truly a desire for developing countries to increase their exports, this desire, expressed from the countries in favour of extension, should not be pursued in the TRIPS Council but in other fora. This issue was extremely relevant for the Latin American countries, not only because of the fact that these countries were colonized and many places were named after European cities, but also because of the strong influx of immigration that these countries had been subject to. Argentina's experience with at least one homonymous GI had not been, at least to date, a happy one. The experiences that occurred at the bilateral level were undoubtedly determinative of the positions they would take at the multilateral level.