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

Ms Irene Young (Hong Kong, China)
Bolivia, Plurinational State of
39. Bolivia's stance on this matter is well known. Bolivia believes that a development-oriented outcome in Buenos Aires should at least include a negotiating mandate on disclosure of the source of origin. In this regard, modifying the patent system could discourage the biopiracy practices that we have seen since the TRIPS Agreement was adopted at the WTO. 40. In addition to disclosure of the source of origin, it is necessary to include substantive provisions that prevent the patentability of life forms and parts thereof, such as genetic resources, and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. The possibility of patenting life forms and parts thereof was encouraged by the adoption of Article 27.3(b), which, unlike any other international rule, has promoted the undue appropriation of such resources through the patent system. This has allowed for an increase in private monopolies on life forms, genetic resources and gene sequences, among other things, by merely isolating and characterizing them, which has negative consequences for the innovation itself and for scientific research, as well as access to its findings. Preventing the patentability of life forms and genetic resources would help to prevent biopiracy and would act as a complement to a mechanism for disclosing sources of origin. 41. Document TN/C/W/59 would be a good basis on which to move ahead with the process in this Council, with a view to achieving a tangible pro development outcome at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference. 42. Our position on observers is also well known. We believe that the issue of observer status must be addressed in a balanced manner, and in its entirety, in order for the representative institutions of most Members to have this status. Until now, I had never understood why there was opposition towards the Secretariat of the CBD and the South Centre having observer status in the Organization. 43. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our support for Ecuador's proposal that the Secretariat update its factual notes describing relevant developments in recent years.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
16. The Chairperson recalled that, at the meeting of the Council for TRIPS that had taken place in March 2017, Members had remained divided both on the substantive and procedural issues. Therefore, no progress had been made. She encouraged Members to consider how to make progress on these issues, rather than repeat well-known positions. Members were invited to report on their bilateral discussions, since the last meeting.

17. The representatives of India; South Africa; Brazil; Ecuador7; the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Indonesia; Egypt; China; the United States; Japan; Canada; Australia; Switzerland; and the Republic of Korea took the floor.

18. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.

19. The Chairperson recalled that the review of Article 27.3 (b) was an integral part of the TRIPS Agreement. However, information on important developments that many WTO Members had seen in this area over the last decade had not been provided to the Council. Since 2003, there had been no responses or updates to the Illustrative List of Questions on Article 27.3(b), and no notifications of domestic mechanisms to protect genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Members were encouraged to check whether they had information that ought to be shared in the WTO, and to submit notifications in a timely manner.

IP/C/M/86, IP/C/M/86/Add.1