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

Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe)
117. The representative of Australia said that her delegation welcomed the approach suggested by the Chair at the previous meeting for the Article 24.2 review to progress by working through the main section headings in the Secretariat's summary paper. At the Council's meeting in April 2001, her delegation had raised a number of questions and queries that had arisen from its examination of the information contained in the Secretariat's summary paper (document IP/C/W/253), in an attempt to enhance its own and other Members' understanding of the application of Section 3 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement in national laws and the impact that this had on Australian right holders. For the Article 24.2 review to be as constructive and useful as possible, her delegation encouraged other delegations to delve more deeply into the information contained in the paper and to respond to the questions, comments and queries raised by Australia at the previous meeting. The use of this agenda item was an opportunity to raise any concerns arising from the information contained in the Secretariat's summary paper that any Members might have had so as to enhance the collective understanding of all Members. Her delegation hoped that Members would also address the questions concerning specific provisions of Section 3 of Part II of the Agreement, as set out in Australia's paper (document IP/C/W/211). That paper sought to engage Members in discussion of the underlying issues involved in the protection of geographical indications which Members should consider in the course of the Article 24.2 review. The paper posed specific questions in Section 7 which she suggested could be considered with reference to existing national systems and the strong interest expressed by some Members in better geographical indication protection. Addressing these questions would greatly assist Members in better understanding the application of Section 3 of Part II of the Agreement in national laws. She highlighted a few questions in Australia's paper in the hope that Members would look carefully at the paper. In relation to Article 22.1, Australia asked whether it was possible to claim geographical indication status for a term when the relevant consumer was not aware of any geographical connotation? In relation to Article 23.1, what did it mean for a geographical indication to identify a product? What practical limitations did this place on the use of a term which had descriptive qualities? How did this provision interact with Article 24.6 regarding descriptive terms and variety names? These questions were set out in order to bring about a broader understanding to the nature of this debate.