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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
World Trade Organization
26.   The work on the e-TRIPS project, particularly the notification submission tool, is at a very advanced stage, and we have reported extensively on this project in the past, so our report will be very brief. 27.   The WTO Secretariat is fine-tuning the IT aspects of the project, with the aim of opening to Members for trial usage in the new year. Current work includes cleaning, tagging and confirming the integrity of legacy data, and improving the IT to make it clearer and more user-friendly for Members. We are currently introducing specific refinements in the light of the direct experience of Members in preparing and submitting notification and reporting material. We are conscious that it is much easier and more cost-effective to refine the system now rather than returning to it subsequently after it is released; hence the emphasis on fine-tuning it now. 28.   The WTO Secretariat would welcome any further feedback, comments and suggestions, in particular through informal consultations and demonstrations with delegates. This would help us to shape the final version which would then go online for Members to use directly when providing notifications and other reports relating to the work of this Council. 29.   The Secretariat is also developing a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to use eTRIPS, which also provides information on the various categories of material – notifications and regular reports - that Members may wish to submit as part of their ongoing contribution to the transparency function of this Council. The Secretariat will be in touch with Members with further details in due course, and again will refine this material in the light of feedback received. Our technical assistance work will also include advice on notifications and, in particular, how Members can make use of e-TRIPS to track their existing notifications and to keep them up to date and complete. 30.   This work has concerned an improved notification and reporting submission tool – the input side. We are also working on the improved gateway for access to and easier searching of this material. This, too, will be the subject of consultations with Members to ensure that it corresponds with the practical needs of Geneva-based delegates and capital-based officials seeking better access to the TRIPS-related material contained in the system. Again, we will be in touch with delegations to arrange for informal consultations to facilitate this stage of work. 31.   I conclude by thanking delegates for their guidance and cooperation in the development and implementation of this new system. This has been indispensable for the efforts made to ensure that this will be a tool that is practical to use and efficient and timely in the processing and dissemination of the key working materials for this Council. We therefore place strong emphasis on this continuing feedback from Members in taking this project forward. 32.   No statements were made under this agenda item.
The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
1.   The Chair suggested that Members first consider notifications submitted under the TRIPS Agreement, then take up questions submitted by India to the European Union with respect to the enforcement of IPRs regarding goods in transit, and conclude with a Secretariat update on the status of the e-TRIPS project. He invited the Secretariat to report on notifications that the Council had received since its meeting in June 2018.
2.   A representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. Croatia had submitted a comprehensive package of 14 notifications. These included amendments to and codifications of its main dedicated IP laws and regulations in the fields of copyright and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications, patents, industrial designs and topographies of semiconductor products. A new Act on the Protection of Undisclosed Information with Market Value had also been notified.
b. Japan had notified revisions of its Patent and Design Acts, expanding in both cases the "grace period" regarding the exception to lack of novelty of inventions, from six months to one year. A revision of the Trademark Act had also been notified. It reportedly improved trademark application procedures through adding the requirement of divisional application.
c. Ukraine had notified its law "On Efficient Management of Property Rights of Right Holders in the Sphere of Copyright and Related Rights" of May 2018, which defined the legal and organizational principles of collective management of copyrights and related rights.
d. Colombia had notified its new "Orange Economy" Law of May 2017. This law promoted creative industries that generate value through their IP-based goods and services. It had also notified two updates to its copyright law. Amongst others, the right of remuneration of authors of cinematographic works, including directors and scriptwriters, for acts of communication to the public of audio-visual works is recognized. Finally, an amendment to a 2015 decree regarding certain aspects of the procedure for the declaration of the existence of reasons of public interest for compulsory licensing had also been submitted to the TRIPS Council.
e. Republic of Moldova had notified two Decisions of 2011 and 2018, respectively, approving and amending the Regulations on the Activity of Authorized Intellectual Property Attorneys which addressed the fundamental principles and rules of professional conduct.
3.   Under Article 69, Ukraine had updated its contact points for the exchange of information and cooperation on trade in infringing goods, and, Tonga had notified new information regarding its contact points. The Members' transparency toolkit page had been updated accordingly.
4.   The Chair invited delegations that had notified a new or revised legislative measures, or submitted updates to their contact points, to introduce their notifications. He also invited other delegations that might wish to comment on them.
5.   The representatives of Colombia, Japan, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, and the United States of America took the floor.
6.   The Chair invited India to introduce its communication on the "Enforcement of IPRs Regarding Goods in Transit – Questions to the European Union" (circulated in document IP/C/W/636/Add.1).
7.   The representative of the European Union and India took the floor.
8.   The Chair turned to the e-TRIPS project and invited the Secretariat to provide an update on the development of e-TRIPS, an online platform for filing and consulting notifications and other Council documentation.
9.   A representative of the Secretariat briefed Members on the development of e-TRIPS.
10.   The Chair recalled that notifications to the Council were not keeping up with the actual development of laws and regulations relating to TRIPS. He recalled that Article 63.2 was not a oneoff requirement, but obliged Members to notify any new or amended laws. Therefore, he urged Members to complete any outstanding initial notifications and to keep up to date with notifications on subsequent amendments. The same applied to the Checklist of Issues on Enforcement which had been established by the Council as an element of Members' notification obligations.
11.   The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/90, IP/C/M/90/Add.1