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

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

19.   The Secretariat appreciates the opportunity to provide a further regular update to the TRIPS Council on the e-TRIPS project. Delegates will recall that the e-TRIPS project aims at streamlining and bringing up to date the information services the Secretariat provides for Members, while remaining fully within the framework established by the TRIPS Agreement itself and the decisions of this Council. It comprises three elements – first, a means of receiving TRIPS notification and review material, the e-TRIPS Notification Submission System (the e-TRIPS NSS); second, a complete Information Management System, now the backbone of our TRIPS information services; and, third, an e-TRIPS Gateway which will be integrated with the WTO website and provide a wide range of opportunities for delegates to access and make use of TRIPS information.

20.   Today, we are pleased to announce that the first element, the e-TRIPS Notification Submission System (the e-TRIPS NSS) is now open and ready for your use. 

What is the e-TRIPS NSS?

  1. The e-TRIPS NSS is an optional online tool for submitting:
  • TRIPS notifications, such as newly passed laws and regulations relevant to TRIPS;
  • TRIPS review materials, such as responses to the questionnaires established by the TRIPS Council; and
  • TRIPS-related Reports, such as regular reports on technical assistance and measures for technology transfer filed by some Members and some international intergovernmental organizations.
  1. Traditional methods of notifying to the TRIPS Council will, of course, remain available. However, we have endeavoured to make the e-TRIPS NSS easy to use, and trust that it will become the preferred means for submitting notifications, review materials and reports to the Council for TRIPS. As we approach 25 years of operation of TRIPS notification and review processes, we are very conscious that it can be difficult to track existing notifications and to update submissions accordingly. We are also conscious that there are some extensive gaps in coverage of material provided. Our immediate emphasis, therefore, is on supporting delegates and capital-based officials to become familiar with this tool and to assist them in its practical use.


  1. In the coming weeks, therefore, the Secretariat will send an email to all Missions to the WTO with guidance on how to access and use the e-TRIPS NSS. User names and passwords for using the system will be provided to delegations. We will also provide a user guide, which will explain how the e-TRIPS NSS works, and what can (and cannot) be submitted through the e-TRIPS NSS. In addition, delegations will also be able to access an online training environment, which is, in effect, a test site reproducing all of the functions of the e-TRIPS NSS. Any practice entries made when using this training tool will go no further than the test site and will not, of course, be formally notified to the TRIPS Council.
  2. We are also available at any time to demonstrate the NSS to any interested delegations, or to assist in its use in submitting notifications and review materials.
  3. Additionally, on the margins of the Council meeting in June, the Secretariat will provide an informal training session for interested delegations on how to use the new system.
  4. The e-TRIPS NSS will be available in the three official WTO languages. The initial version that will be made available in the coming weeks will, however, only be available in English. The site is currently being translated and it will be made available in French and Spanish as soon as possible.
  5. We are deeply grateful for the feedback and collaboration of many delegates who have helped to shape and refine this new tool in line with your actual practical requirements, during an extended development process. This initiative truly could not have come to fruition without this valuable input. We continue to welcome any feedback on how you think the e-TRIPS NSS could be improved in the light of practical experience.

The broader e-TRIPS Gateway

  1. I would like to turn now to a brief update on the broader e-TRIPS Gateway – in other words, the online information portal that will allow you to search and extract the full range of TRIPS information managed by the Secretariat. Work is progressing steadily. As reported earlier, we will be engaging with delegates and other stakeholders on the design and layout of this Gateway, again with a view to building it around the practical needs and requirements of Members. We hope to provide a more substantive update at the June meeting, including information on an initial release version for trial by delegations, and look forward to your guidance on this stage of the project as well.
The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
1.   The Chair invited the Secretariat to report on notifications that the Council had received since its meeting in November 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. Japan had notified consolidated versions of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, the Patent Act and the Trademark Act. The Trademark Act and the Patent Act had been revised to be compatible with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The Unfair Competition Prevention Act had been revised to enhance regulation and enforcement of acts of unfair competition relating to undisclosed data in the context of information technologies.
b. Chinese Taipei had notified a revision to the Enforcement Rules of the Trademarks Act, which reflected changes permitting direct reference to WIPO's International Classification of Goods and Services. It had also notified revised Regulations governing the Determination of Patent Term Extension, including changes to facilitate requests for patent term extensions for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and their manufacturing processes.
c. Norway has notified consolidated versions of the Norwegian Trademarks Act and the Norwegian Designs Act, which mainly reflected consequential changes from the entry into force of the Penal Code. Norway had also notified consolidated versions of the Norwegian Patent Regulations and the Regulation relating to payments to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and the Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights. These versions reflected amendments accommodating changes in the Patents Act, which introduced the possibility of establishing security interests in Patents and Plant Variety Rights, and changes regarding extensions of supplementary protection certificates for medicinal products for paediatric use.
d. The United States had notified the Music Modernization Act that updated copyright-related issues for music and audio recordings in light of new technologies, like digital streaming. Regarding patent law, the United States had also notified the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018 (SUCCESS Act), which directed certain agencies to study the participation of women, minorities, and veterans in entrepreneurship activities and the patent system; and, to develop recommendations for improvement.
e. Samoa had submitted its first notification of its Intellectual Property Act and IP Regulations that were passed in the context of its accession to the WTO. It had also submitted its responses to the Checklist of Issues on Enforcement.
3.   Since the circulation of the agenda, the United States had also notified the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, which revised the Copyright Act to implement the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.
4.   Under Article 69, Samoa and Myanmar had provided information on contact points for the exchange of information and cooperation on trade in infringing goods. The Members' transparency toolkit page would be updated accordingly.
5.   The Chair invited delegations that had notified 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.
6.   The representatives of Japan, Chinese Taipei, Norway, and the United States of America took the floor.
7.   The Chair 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.
8.   A representative of the Secretariat briefed Members on the development of e-TRIPS.
9.   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.
10.   The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1