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

Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
258. We welcome the opportunity to talk about IP and green technology and we thank Ecuador for its paper. 259. We are encouraged that Ecuador has utilized the TRIPS Council to express its views on the nexus between climate change and intellectual property as an appropriate forum, alongside WIPO, to discuss these issues. Nevertheless we question some of the assumptions underlying the paper. We think TRIPS has got the balance right. We do not think that weakening IP rights will result in an increased transfer of green technology to the world's poorest nations; and we are concerned that diminishing the prospect of reward from research and development initiatives, could discourage investment in green technology development in the first place. 260. We do not consider that the issues of climate change and access to medicines under the TRIPS Protocol are analogous, or that compulsory licence and export of green technologies is necessarily the solution to improving dissemination of green technologies. 261. In contrast to a defined list of pharmaceutical products which can be compulsorily licensed and exported under the TRIPS Protocol, it is difficult to define green technologies which describe the function rather than the technological subject matter. 262. Sufficient access to patented technologies for technology transfer can currently be achieved through existing TRIPS flexibilities. 263. Technology transfer requires more than access to patented technologies and associated information, affected countries require the services and infrastructure capacity associated with implementing and using the technology. 264. These sorts of measures might deter the entry of international firms that would otherwise transfer technology to local partners. 265. However, we acknowledge that, under the current global framework, intellectual property can play a role in encouraging technology transfer: • for example we have seen very significant transfers of climate change positive technology to developing countries for use in projects financed under the Clean Development Mechanism (under the Kyoto Protocol); and • as I said at our meeting in June, we would be willing to work with Members in this forum or WIPO, on concrete, practical suggestions, which could contribute to the dissemination of green technologies without distorting the IP system, • for example, Australia would be open to further discussions on the role of IP in voluntary licencing of technologies associated with adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, with a particular focus on the needs of the most vulnerable developing countries.
The Council took note of the statements made.
12.1. The Chairman recalled that, at the Council's meeting in March 2013, Ecuador had briefly presented, under "Other Business", its submission entitled "Contribution of Intellectual Property for Facilitating the Transfer of Environmentally Rational Technology" (document IP/C/W/585). That document had been discussed at the Council's meeting in June 2013 under an item on "Intellectual Property, Climate Change and Development" that had been put on the agenda at the request of Ecuador.

12.2. The representatives of Ecuador, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Indonesia, Cuba, China, United States, European Union, India, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Switzerland, Brazil and Venezuela took the floor. The statements will be reproduced in an addendum to the present record.

12.3. The Council took note of the statements made.

IP/C/M/74, IP/C/M/74/Add.1