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

Ms Irene Young (Hong Kong, China)
World Trade Organization
470. Many thanks for giving the Secretariat an opportunity to provide an update of IP-related issues as they have come up in the most recent trade policy reviews. As at previous sessions, this update concentrates just on those aspects of IP-related trade policy matters that other Members actively chose to address in the course of the review of Members' trade policy settings. Since the last TRIPS Council meeting in October 2017, the trade policy reviews of the West African Economic and Monetary Union3, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Cambodia, The Gambia, Malaysia and Egypt have taken place. 471. These recent reviews covered a wide range of IP-related trade policy matters; a full account of these matters would be particularly lengthy. Following, therefore, for the sake of brevity, is a representative list of some of the areas on which other members have expressed concrete interest in the form of follow-up questions during these reviews: • incentives for firms to acquire foreign owned IP rights; • mechanisms to foster trading in IP rights and for realising their financial value; • collective management of licenses on copyright content; • reduction of "red tape" associated with obtaining and protecting IP rights; • policies of exhaustion of IP rights, specifically patents, trademarks, copyright and plant varieties; • procedures for registration of trademarks and for opposition to trademark registration; • geographical indications; • compulsory licenses on pharmaceutical patent; • acceptance and domestic implementation of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement; • a constitutional right to access to medicines in relation to the patent system; • protection of undisclosed information; • enforcement of IP rights online and at the border; • ex officio authority to take enforcement action in cases of infringement of business and entertainment software copyright; • administrative measures for the enforcement of IP rights; • the structure, hierarchy and competence of specific courts on IP matters within the domestic judicial system; • the function of a registry of importers as a mechanism in supporting the enforcement of IP rights; • cooperation agreements between completion and IP authorities; regional IP organizations; and ratification of WIPO Treaties (including Marrakech) and accession to the UPOV Convention. 472. The IP section in the latest WTO Director-General Monitoring Report4, issued in mid-November 2017, reported on the entry into force of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement; and highlighted certain trade-related IP policy initiatives undertaken by Canada, China, Paraguay and South Africa.
The Council took note of the statement made.
39. The Chairperson said that, on 30 November 2017, the General Council had decided to extend the period for acceptance of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement until 31 December 2019 (WT/L/1024). Since October 2017, another six Members had deposited their instruments of acceptance: Congo (31 October 2017), Madagascar (9 November 2017), Gabon (23 November 2017), the Plurinational State of Bolivia (30 January 2018), the Kyrgyz Republic (6 February 2018), and Guinea (15 February 2018). So far, 124 Members had accepted the TRIPS Amendment. She encouraged the remaining 40 Members to expedite action.

40. The Chairperson invited the Secretariat to provide an update on IP-related issues that had been considered in the context of individual Members' trade policy reviews.

41. The representative of the Secretariat took the floor.

42. The Council took note of the statement made.

IP/C/M/88, IP/C/M/88/Add.1

3 WAEMU includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

4 Overview of Developments in the International Trading Environment, Annual Report by the Director-General, document WT/TPR/OV/20 of 16 November 2017.