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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
5   PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE

47.   The relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD is an important issue in this Council. Over years, Members have conducted useful discussions on this issue. China attaches great importance to the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD and hopes that Members could be constructively involved in this discussion. 48.   Regarding the substantial issues, in order to ensure the mutual support of the TRIPS Agreement, the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol, the majority of Members are supportive to amend the TRIPS Agreement, to include a mandatory requirement on disclosure of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications. 49.   As to the issue of disclosure, China has provided detailed suggestions on negotiation model, improving the transparency on genetic resources utilization, preventing the misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, and preventing the grant of erroneous patents in documents TN/C/W/52 and TN/C/W/59 that were co-sponsored by Members. 50.   We also believe the prior informed consent and benefit sharing could bring better protection for genetic resources without adding extra burden to patent applicants. The benefit arrangements on a contractual basis and the database solution could not serve the purpose of sufficient protection for genetic resources. 51.   With regard to procedure, we consider that the discussion and negotiation on this issue in WIPO does not form any obstacles for WTO Members on finding solutions. The Ministerial Meeting has instructed the TRIPS Council to examine the relationship between TRIPS and CBD. Members should follow this mandate to work on solving this issue. China supports to invite the CBD Secretariat to brief on the Nagoya Protocol and hopes that the Secretariat could renew the three factual notes (IP/C/W/368/Rev.1, IP/C/W/369/Rev.1,and IP/C/W/370/Rev.1). China believes that the discussion and negotiation in WIPO's IGC should not hinder Members to find solutions in the WTO, as Ministers have given the Council the mandate to examine the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
14.   The Chair proposed that, following past practice, the three agenda items would be addressed together. Members had seen important developments in these areas, over the last decade. However, information on those developments had not been shared with the TRIPS Council. For example, the Review of Article 27.3(b) was based on an Illustrative List of Questions agreed by the Council. To date, only 25 Members had submitted responses to that list and there had been no responses or updates since 2003. Similarly, there had been no notifications of domestic mechanisms to protect genetic resources and traditional knowledge under Article 63.2 TRIPS. He encouraged delegations to submit or update responses and to notify relevant laws and regulations to the TRIPS Council. This would definitively facilitate and enrich the discussions. He recalled that there had been no new developments on two long-standing procedural issues, namely:
a. The suggestion, first made in November 2012, that the Secretariat update the three factual notes on the Council's previous discussions on TRIPS/CBD and related items; and
b. The proposal, initially submitted in October 2010, that the CBD Secretariat be invited to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD.
15.   The representatives of India, Egypt, China, Brazil, Bangladesh, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Ecuador, Chinese Taipei, Chile, South Africa, Indonesia, Canada, Thailand, Australia, Japan, the United States of America, and Switzerland took the floor.
16.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/90, IP/C/M/90/Add.1