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

Ambassador Yonov Agah (Nigeria)
190. The representative of Brazil said that, while in his view many of the activities presented under Article 66.2 should have been presented under Article 67 on technical cooperation, he had doubts as to whether the activities presented under Article 67 actually facilitated the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Law harmonization should not be an objective of technical cooperation under Article 67. It was not an objective of the Agreement. Article 1.1 indicated that it accepted the diversity of Members' laws, a point that had been made by developed and developing country Members in several instances in the Council's discussions. For example, in the context of the discussions on GI extension and GI registry, the United States had on several occasions indicated that it would not accept any overriding of the territorial nature of the patent law. Therefore, he did not understand how law harmonization could be the priority of European Patent Office technical assistance with a view towards assisting developing countries in the implementation of the Agreement as a whole. In this regard, he made a number of points in connection with parts of an advance copy of the EC report which were not retained in the final version of the document. 191. Turning to the US contribution, he said that the report referred to many training programmes, most of them concentrated on enforcement. The long list of activities included USPTO GIPA enforcement of IPR programmes with a list of participating developing countries from Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries. It also included a DR-CAFTA Roundtable on border enforcement of IPR. These programmes also addressed customs-to-customs best IP practices and the identification of pirate music products. While not denying that there was an enforcement chapter in the Agreement, this was not the type of technical cooperation that was meant by Article 67. As already indicated on several occasions and in different forums, his delegation understood that the Agreement contained a balance of rights and obligations, as well as flexibilities. Technical cooperation was meant to assist developing countries in complying with the Agreement as a whole, and not only "cherry picking" its specific provisions and concentrating technical cooperation activity, to a certain extent, in a self-interested way.