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

Ms Irene Young (Hong Kong, China)
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
270. Let me first thank you for giving me the floor to present GCC Secretariat General's activities on technical cooperation in the area of intellectual property. In this statement, I would like to highlight two distinct but interlinked areas of GCC-SG work on IP related issues when it comes to technical cooperation and capacity building: • TRIPS Agreement: commitments and implications, covered by the GCC WTO Department; and • Intellectual Property: technical aspects and implementation in the field, covered by the GCC Patent Office. 271. As part of the activities of the WTO Department in the GCC Secretariat General devoted to raise awareness and address any lack of knowledge, the department provides on a regular basis legal and technical advisory services, organizes specialized workshops and makes available publications and brochures for the benefit of relevant administrations and officials in the GCC member States, including in the field of intellectual property in the WTO. 272. In this regard, and as announced during the TRIPS Council session of November 2016, the WTO Department has conducted in Manama (Bahrain) on 21 - 24 November 2016 a Workshop on ''the TRIPS Agreement and its implications on the GCC member States''. Attended by officials in charge of IP issues in the GCC countries and other relevant staff in the GCC Secretariat General, the Workshop was designed to raise awareness on the TRIPS Agreement, its various implementation aspects and the implications of the enforcement of its rules and mechanisms on trade and investment. During four days, participants had the opportunity to take part in extensive and interactive discussions that have enriched by presentations of experts from the WTO Department and the GCC Patent Office. 273. The GCC Department has followed very carefully recent developments in IP in the WTO, especially the amendment of the TRIPS Agreement, which entered into force on 23 January 2017 and made the special compulsory licensing mechanism to export medicines a permanent part of the Agreement. Thus, understanding the implications of such amendment is of great importance for IP relevant national administrations and procurement agencies. That is why the WTO Department is preparing, among other activities, a ''Guide'' for publication which will be devoted to help relevant IP national Patent Offices and other relevant agencies and officials in the GCC countries to raise awareness on the various legal and technical aspects of the above-mentioned amendment as well as on the use of ''the Paragraph 6 System''. 274. In addition to its role as a regional patent office for implementing GCC Patent Law, the GCC Patent Office (GCCPO) continues to intensify its mutual cooperation programme with GCC national patent offices aimed at conducting various activities on technical assistance in the field of patents and enhancing their capacity to contribute to patent enforcement in the GCC member States. 275. In this context, the GCCPO has organized in cooperation with WIPO a workshop on Patent drafting in GCC headquarters on 16 - 20 October 2016 for researchers and those concerned with inventions. On the same subject, an on-the-job training on patent filing was conducted by the GCCPO in Kuwait IP Office during the periods 14-17 May 2017 and 24 April - 27 May 2017 with the aim of familiarizing formal examiners of Kuwait national IP Office with electronic filing, formal examination, granting, publishing and customer service. 276. On patent examination as such, the GCCPO has conducted four activities during 2017. From 2 to 15 April 2017 and from 17 to 27 May 2017, the GCCPO has organized an on-the-job training in Bahrain on patent examination for the benefit of examiners of Bahrain national IP Office. Cooperation activity in formal and substantive examination of patent was organized by the GCCPO from 16 April to 15 May 2017 in Oman for patent examiners of Oman national Patent Office. Cooperation in patent examination was conducted 1-3 May 2017 in Riyadh (Chamber of Commerce) for examiners of the GCC Patent Office, national IP Offices and IP Lawyers as part of training programme of the GCC IP Training Centre in cooperation with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. Cooperation in patent examination was also organized in Qatar from 7 May to 5 June 2017 for patent examiners of Qatar national IP Office. 277. On IP research, the GCCPO has organized, in cooperation with WIPO, a workshop on benefiting from published search results in GCC headquarters on 6–10 November 2016 for employees of the GCCPO and national IP Offices. 278. The GCCPO has also provided during the period from 27 February to 12 March 2017 consultation to Oman IP Authority in restructuring its Patent Department. 279. As far as IT Systems are concerned, the GCCPO has conducted two cooperation activities: one held in Bahrain on 11–13 July 2017 for IT Team of Bahrain national IP Office with the aim of strengthening the IT System and assuring its compatibility with GCC Patent Office databases and e-filing system. The other cooperation activity was conducted in Kuwait on 2 July 2017 to provide employees in Kuwait IP national Office with computers and scanners. 280. On patent litigation and dispute settlement, a workshop was organized by GCCPO in GCC headquarters on 26–27 April 2017 in cooperation with WIPO for the benefit of members of GCC Grievance Committee of patent and law officers of the GCC Patent Office. 281. On trademarks and industrial designs, a training event was conducted on 3–5 April 2017 in Riyadh (Chamber of commerce) for employees of the GCC Patent Office, the national IP Offices and lawyers. 282. Furthermore, GCCPO has participated in ''the Middle East International Exhibition of Inventions'', which was held in Kuwait from 15-19 January 2017. The participation of the GCCPO in this exhibition included granting a yearly award of SAR 50,000 to the GCC inventors in addition to supporting their participation.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
49. The Chairperson recalled that, at its meeting in June, the Council had agreed to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting. Developed country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members who also provided technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on these activities. The Secretariat had issued an airgram, on 4 July 2017, reminding Members of this request. Intergovernmental organizations, which were observers to the Council, and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.

50. The Council had received information from: Japan, Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway (IP/C/W/632 and its addenda). The report from the European Union and some of its individual member States and agencies, namely Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the Community Plant Variety Office had been received shortly before the meeting and was being circulated as an addendum to document IP/C/W/632.

51. The following intergovernmental organizations had also submitted updated information: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), and the World Customs Organization (WCO) (IP/C/W/633 and addenda). Updated information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area was available in document IP/C/W/634.

52. The Chairperson said that, since some of the information had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language, she intended to provide Members a further opportunity to comment on the information at the Council's next meeting.

53. The representatives of Australia; the United States; Norway; the European Union; Canada; Japan; New Zealand, the WTO Secretariat, ARIPO, the GCC, the WHO, UNCTAD, India, Brazil, and China took the floor.

54. The Chairperson said that the reports by Members and IGO observers provided valuable information about specific activities, as well as the broader policy considerations that were guiding capacity building activities of individual Members and Observers. She encouraged Members to make good use of this resource.

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

IP/C/M/87, IP/C/M/87/Add.1