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

Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras)
197. The representative of Bangladesh said that, while there was still no agreed definition of counterfeit products, he shared the concern of many Members regarding counterfeit trademarks. He said that, to fight the problem of trademark counterfeiting, there already existed the Madrid System, the WIPO trademark law treaty, the Singapore Treaty and above all the TRIPS Agreement, and the proper implementation of these existing treaties should be the first step to fight the trade in counterfeits. However, in doing so Members had to be careful that new measures did not hinder access to essential medicines, or access to information, knowledge and the Internet. Any alleged offender had to have the opportunity of recourse to a court of law. The provisions of any such measures should not be so broad or fluid as to leave room for different interpretations by different enforcement agencies, and the concerns of LDCs should always be considered, as they had to be allowed special and differential treatment in any such legal regime. 198. One way of fighting counterfeit trademark products had already been mentioned by the United States, namely that India was helping Nigeria with technical cooperation and capacity building to fight trade in counterfeits. He said that if developed countries would extend similar co-operation on capacity-building and awareness-raising to developing countries, the fight against counterfeit products would be easier and more productive. Straightforward enforcement might not always be a straightforward answer.