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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
World Trade Organization

293.   Document IP/C/W/645 reports on technical cooperation activities concerning TRIPS that were undertaken by the WTO Secretariat between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018. The document provides a general overview of trends; details of each activity are provided in Annex I of the document. 294.   Technical cooperation activities, implemented by the WTO Secretariat under the aegis of TRIPS, have the objective of assisting Members and Observers to meet their developmental and other domestic policy objectives within the framework of the IP system established by the TRIPS Agreement, and to respond to the needs and priorities articulated by the Members concerned. Activities are driven by demand from developing country and least developed countries, as well as from governments preparing to accede to the WTO. Hence, focussing on the TRIPS framework itself, this work touches on areas such as innovation and industrial policy, health, regulatory aspects, competition policy and environmental protection, through the trade and intellectual property regime, in line with domestic circumstances and priority needs. These activities also have the objective of strengthening the capacity of Members to fully participate in the WTO's work on TRIPS matters. 295.   A central focus also remains on assisting Members and Observers to understand their rights and obligations under the Agreement. As we have reported under Item 1, Members and Observers continue to receive tailored assistance regarding their participation in the transparency for the work of this Council, and this will be stepped up in line with the opportunities provided by the eTRIPS system. 296.   Among the more recent developments, since the entry into force of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement in January 2017, activities have increasingly focused on implementing the Protocol at the domestic level and supporting the utilization of the Special Compulsory Licensing System as an effective procurement tool to ensure access to affordable medicines. Given the increasing interest in sharing practical experience with the implementation of certain aspects of Part III of the TRIPS Agreement, the Secretariat also organized the first WTO activity dedicated to intellectual property judges from developing countries and economies in transition. This workshop shared experience with the application of relevant TRIPS Agreement provisions in a wide range of jurisdictions and fostered a network for continuing practical dialogue.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
44.   The Chair recalled that in June 2018, the Council had agreed to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at the November 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 made available technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on these activities. The Secretariat had issued an airgram on 5 July 2018 reminding Members of this request. Intergovernmental organizations observers to the Council and the Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
45.   The Council had received information from the following developed country Members: United States of America, Switzerland, Australia, Japan and Canada. Their reports had been circulated in document IP/C/W/647 and addenda. Shortly before the meeting, the Council had also received the reports from New Zealand, as well as from the European Union and some of its member States, namely Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. Advance copies of both reports had been made available as room documents on documents online and would also be circulated as addenda to document IP/C/W/647.
46.   The following intergovernmental organizations had also submitted updated information: the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Health Organization (WHO), World Customs Organization (WCO), African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Their reports had been circulated in document IP/C/W/644/Rev.1 and addenda. Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda, information had also been received from UPOV, which would be made available shortly.
47.   Updated information on the Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document IP/C/W/645.
48.   The representatives from Canada, Australia, Japan, the United States of America, Norway, the European Union, the Secretariat, the WHO, the GCC, UNCTAD, WIPO and ARIPO took the floor.
49.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/90, IP/C/M/90/Add.1