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

Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
343. I would like to thank the co-sponsors of documents JOB/IP/19, JOB/IP/20, JOB/IP/21 and JOB/IP/22. According to the co-sponsors of the document JOB/IP/21, "Intellectual property rights protection and enforcement issues are an important component of e commerce and digital economy discussions, and are addressed in a number of international fora, including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and at the WTO TRIPS Council." 344. We understand that in WIPO some work has already been done with regard to resolution of e-commerce disputes. According to WIPO's website, WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Centre specializes in international dispute settlement and is well suited to solving international IP problems arising in E-Commerce. The Centre has also focused significant resources on establishing an operational and legal framework for the administration of disputes relating to the Internet and electronic commerce, including disputes arising out of the abusive registration and use of Internet domain names. Some Members have already stated that there shall not be duplication of work at WIPO and WTO. 345. According to the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce, the Council for TRIPS shall examine and report on the intellectual property issues arising in connection with electronic commerce. The issues to be examined shall include: protection and enforcement of copyright and related rights; protection and enforcement of trademarks and new technologies and access to technology. 346. Discussions in this Council must take place in accordance with the Work Programme. As the mandate is exploratory, I would like to request the proponents of job-documents to clarify what specific intellectual property issues they would like to discuss in this Council on an exploratory basis. We look forward to engaging constructively in the discussions on e-commerce in this Council as per the Work Programme.
JOB/IP/19; JOB/IP/202; JOB/IP/21; JOB/IP/22
The Council took note of the statements made.
69. The Chairman informed the Council that, to prepare the discussion under this item, Brazil had submitted a communication on Electronic Commerce and Copyright (document JOB/IP/19) which had been co-sponsored by Argentina. He suggested that Brazil introduce the agenda item and discuss the issues that it was proposing for consideration, and that the Council then turn to three other submissions related to the Work Programme on E-Commerce which the respective co-sponsors might wish to introduce.

70. He recalled the most recent mandate in the field of e-commerce and the state of play of the work. At MC10 in December 2015, Ministers had decided to "continue the work under the Work Programme based on the existing mandate and guidelines and on the basis of proposals submitted by Members in the relevant WTO bodies". They had also instructed the General Council to hold periodic reviews "based on the reports that may be submitted by the WTO bodies entrusted with the implementation of the Work Programme and report to the next session of the Ministerial Conference" (document WT/MIN(15)/42 – WT/L/977).

71. In June 2017, the TRIPS Council had resumed discussions on e-commerce. This discussion had been based on Canada's written submission circulated in document IP/C/W/613. Canada had shared its national experience to fight the selling of counterfeit products over the internet. At the Council's meeting in November 2016, Canada had called for a continuation of the sharing of national experiences and practices as this would support the Council to respond to the Ministerial mandate. In line with the addendum to its earlier communication (document IP/C/W/613/Add.1) Canada had also said that it wished to consult with other delegations on how to advance the Work Programme on E-Commerce in this Council. It had been joined by a number of other delegations.

72. The Chairman also referred to three other communications under this item: a communication on Electronic Signatures that had been co-sponsored by the delegations of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay (document JOB/IP/20); a communication on Trade Policy, the WTO and the Digital Economy that had been circulated at the request of the delegations of Canada; Chile; Colombia; Côte d'Ivoire; the European Union; the Republic of Korea; Mexico; Montenegro; Paraguay; Singapore and Turkey (JOB/IP/21 of 13 January 2017); and a communication on Electronic Commerce and Development, recently circulated in document JOB/IP/22 at the request of the delegations of Brunei Darussalam; Colombia; Costa Rica; Hong Kong, China; Israel; Malaysia; Mexico; Nigeria; Pakistan; Panama; Qatar; Seychelles; Singapore and Turkey.

73. The representatives of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group, Switzerland, the United States, Norway, the European Union, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Canada, the Republic of Moldova, Mexico, Australia, Turkey, Colombia, the Russian Federation, Chile, the Republic of Korea, India and New Zealand took the floor.

74. The Chairman said that, in light of the discussions and the earlier exchange of views at the Council's meetings in June and November 2016, there seemed to be a continuing interest of delegations in discussing issues related to intellectual property and e-commerce. He therefore encouraged Members to consider how to carry forward issues related to e-commerce in the TRIPS Council. An in-depth debate would, indeed, constitute a sound basis for the Council to contribute to the periodic review that the General Council had been requested to hold, as well as to provide input for the General Council report to the next Ministerial Conference. Such a discussion would be an opportunity to create a clear and inclusive factual picture of the current state of affairs as the foundation for informed dialogue between Members.

75. The Council took note of the statements made.

IP/C/M/85, IP/C/M/85/Add.1