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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
Bolivia, Plurinational State of

63.   We would like to emphasize the importance of keeping this item under discussion and on this Council's agenda. The Plurinational State of Bolivia wishes to reiterate the relevance of document IP/C/W/545 of 26 February 2010, in which it submitted a contribution to this Council. The review of Article 27.3(b) is an issue within the mandate of the Doha Development Agenda under Paragraph 19 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration. Article 27.3 must be clarified in order to prohibit the patenting of all life forms and to protect all the rights of farmers, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional practices in developing countries. 64.   There is no reason why microorganisms, microbiological processes and non-biological processes for obtaining plants and animals should be singled out for patentability, while Members are given the discretion to prohibit patents on plants and animals, and on essentially biological processes. The patenting of life forms promotes an imbalance in the current intellectual property system. The TRIPS Agreement, while granting private monopoly rights, does not explicitly recognize the collective rights of indigenous peoples and local communities over their biological resources and traditional knowledge, farmers' rights or the sovereign rights of States.

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