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

Ambassador Federico A. González (Paraguay)
I.2 2. Other matters
144. The representative of Senegal introduced the document on Senegal's priority needs for technical and financial cooperation with a view to implementing the TRIPS Agreement (being circulated in IP/C/W/555). He recalled that the TRIPS Council's 2005 decision had extended until 1 July 2013 the transition period granted to LDC Members for the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. LDCs were, in addition, free of the obligation, with respect to pharmaceutical products, to implement or apply Sections 5 and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement or to enforce rights provided for under these Sections until 1 January 2016. Paragraph 2 of the 2005 decision called on LDC Members to provide to the Council for TRIPS, preferably by 1 January 2008, as much information as possible on their individual priority needs for technical and financial cooperation in order to assist them in taking steps necessary to implement the TRIPS Agreement. 145. In the context of the Biennial Technical Assistance Plan 2010-2011, Senegal had put WTO support and advice to good use in identifying its priority needs. It had also benefited from WIPO's technical assistance in drawing up its National Intellectual Property Development Plan (PNDPI). Senegal had a fairly substantial legal IP framework. It consisted of legal texts that dealt with the matter directly and others that addressed only certain aspects of IPRs. Senegal was also a party to several international, regional and multilateral agreements and treaties on IP currently in force. 146. This legal arsenal, however, needed a certain amount of adapting and updating, and the texts administered by bodies with remits that touched on IP issues (trade, customs) needed to be reviewed or supplemented. There were a number of obstacles in the path of IP development, one being that several bodies dealt with these matters and coordination between them was a problem for users of the system (SME - SMI, CR&D and cultural players). The bodies involved were: the Ministries of Industry, Culture, the Interior, Scientific Research, Trade, Higher Education and Justice. Furthermore, the institutional framework had problems regarding the availability of material and financial resources, creating and building the capacities of players (staff and right holders), IP teaching in higher education, and the development of research. 147. In order to set up a framework for more effective enforcement of IPRs in Senegal, the main stakeholders had identified a number of priority needs for technical and financial cooperation: organization of awareness raising campaigns; training for the staff of the bodies responsible for rights enforcement, including the police, customs, and the judiciary; provision of detection and testing equipment; development of IPR enforcement manuals for the main enforcement agencies; access to case law and research resources for the commercial courts, including through the establishment of a special IP section. 148. Senegal had the potential for innovation and creation. Unfortunately, it had not managed to set up a suitable IP regime. The public sector had a dominant role in research initiatives, while the private sector used the results without really participating. Yet, public sector R&D was unable to meet growing market demand. Most of the country's industries suffered from inadequate development, in particular because the necessary R&D facilities were lacking. Although the technologies used were for the most part imported, technology transfer was extremely limited. Virtually no patents were registered locally. Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement required developed country Members to provide incentives to encourage technology transfer to LDCs for the purpose of capacity building, but its enforceability remained a problem. 149. He said that Senegal had just drawn up a National Intellectual Property Development Plan (PNDPI), which set out a strategy for IP development, the aim being to create a framework to protect and promote the IP system so that it could be used effectively in implementing the country's economic, social and cultural development policy. The PNDPI also focussed on the development of intellectual creation. It pursued four major objectives corresponding to priority areas of action, namely: (i) strengthening the legislative and regulatory framework; (ii) modernizing IP administration; (iii) promoting the use of IP by companies; and (iv) promoting IP in the education and research sector. 150. The main results expected from the PNDPI could be summarized as follows: (i) an improved legal framework aligned with the objectives, principles, rights, obligations and flexibilities set out in the TRIPS Agreement and with other commitments under international and regional IP standards; (ii) a modern, service based, accessible and automated IPR administration, designed for enterprises, creators and inventors in Senegal; (iii) a strengthened institutional framework and improved IP coordination countrywide; (iv) an increased awareness and use of IP as a tool for economic development and integration; (v) a structured expansion of IP education, training and research institutions within a common national network; and (vi) increased capacities for effective and efficient enforcement and regulation of IPRs among bodies responsible for IPR administration such as the police, public prosecutors and the judiciary. 151. The representative of Senegal said that a memorandum for implementing the PNDPI had been recently signed with WIPO for an amount of CFA 8.5 billion (i.e. nearly 13 million Euros). The memorandum established a framework for cooperation with WIPO, which would enable Senegal to create an environment conducive to IP development. However, there had as yet been no real commitments to implementing the activities of the various programmes covered in the PNDPI and the needs expressed in the context of the PNDPI would in all likelihood expand, which would require additional funding. Hence the need to include the programmes already identified under the PNDPI among the priority needs that Senegal had expressed in view of the impending implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. 152. Senegal also planned to take account of the needs thus identified when updating its diagnostic trade integration study (DTIS) and action matrix, so that partial funding could be obtained through broader initiatives for LDC support, in particular the Aid for Trade initiative and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (IEF). Initiatives such as these afforded opportunities to strengthen and coordinate efforts made to meet the individual priority needs identified by LDCs in the area of TRIPS. 153. The PNDPI identified particular areas of action requiring technical and financial assistance. In this connection, Senegal was awaiting with interest such aid as the multilateral institutions and WTO Members might provide for its implementation. 154. The document that had been submitted had two annexes. Annex A highlighted the main priorities in terms of financial and technical elements allowing the necessary steps to be completed for the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement, taking as a basis the IP development strategy worked out from the responses and suggestions made in the course of consultations with the various stakeholders and in the context of talks held at national level. The needs evaluation covered IP policy and legal framework, administration, IPR observance and regulation, the promotion of innovation, technology transfer incentives and the use of IP as a tool for development. Annex B contained an indicative timeframe of a long term national programme aimed at capacity building for IP development in keeping with Senegal's needs.