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

Ambassador Vanu Gopala Menon (Singapore)
127. The representative of Australia thanked the Chairman for circulating the airgram reminding Members of the importance of providing answers to the Checklist and said that she was looking forward to the update to the summary note. It was vitally important that further examination was given to the manner in which countries provided GI protection and that the Council would examine practical examples of GI protection so that all Members could get a better sense of the various regimes that had been developed for the protection and recognition of geographical indications. A closer look at the details of domestic implementation of GI protection would provide not only the best, but also the necessary platform for ascertaining the benefits of protection and perhaps the problems with it. 128. In the past, her delegation had said that this review should be structured in a logical way and proposed an examination that would provide scope for the provision of general comments, definitions and criteria for recognition, procedures for recognition, eligible authorized users, the monitoring of protection against those not eligible or authorized to use a GI (or using one improperly), enforcement, and the relationship to trademarks. Her delegation would be happy to see a discussion structured along those lines, perhaps on the basis of a proposal by the Chairman as the European Communities had suggested. 129. She said that a number of Members appeared to be struggling with the Checklist of Questions, and noted that responses had been received from only 44 Members. In the context of the review, Members should perhaps have an opportunity to highlight any difficulties or questions they were having in relation to filling out this questionnaire. 130. Referring to the European Communities' remarks on unanswered questions – some of which remarks had been previously directed at Australia – she drew the Council's attention to the number of contributions that had been made by her delegation on this issue. These included documents IP/C/W/205 and IP/C/W/117/Add.23, as well as Australia's paper from earlier this year3 which was in fact the response to the questions that had been posed to Australia more recently. Her delegation's view remained that its contribution had been consistent, comprehensive and entirely adequate.

3 Document IP/C/W/392