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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
51.   We have discussed this agenda item at length during a series of meetings of the TRIPS Council. This delegation, therefore, believes that our position is well-recognized among Members, so we would like to make our intervention brief by highlighting some major points. 52.   The delegation of Japan would like to reiterate our position that the Convention on Biological Diversity is by nature not relevant to the intellectual property system. Therefore, we need to seek appropriate ways to deal with misappropriation of genetic resources. This means that we should bear in mind that any measures taken must not adversely affect the existing intellectual property system or hinder the creation of innovations utilizing genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Japan is firmly convinced that to include the disclosure requirement in the IP system would discourage industries from conducting research and development activities on biological materials. This is the very consequence of the disclosure requirement that Japan has been concerned about. The same holds true for not only developed countries but also emerging and developing countries. Therefore, Japan believes that the disclosure requirement is not an adequate means for dealing with the misappropriation of genetic resources. In line with the above-mentioned position, we firmly believe that the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, and traditional cultural expressions should be designed in a manner that supports creativity and innovation. 53.   In addition, this delegation believes that the WIPO IGC is the most appropriate forum for holding technical discussion on genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore from IP aspects, and the 39th and 40th sessions of the WIPO IGC are planned to be held in the first half of this year. This delegation has been actively contributing to the discussion at the IGC meetings, making various proposals, and remain willing to contribute to evidence-based discussion on these issues in a constructive and effective manner.
14.   The Chair proposed that, following past practice, agenda items 3, 4 and 5 would be addressed together. He noted that there had been important developments in these areas in many WTO Members. However, these developments had not been shared with the Council. Particularly, there had been no response or update to the Illustrative List of Questions on Article 27.3(b) (IP/C/W/122) since 2003; and only 25 Members had responded at all. Likewise, there had been no notifications to the TRIPS Council of domestic laws that related to the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. He encouraged delegations to submit responses to the Checklist or update their previous responses; as well as to notify any relevant changes in legislation. At the previous meeting, delegations had continued their discussion on two long-standing procedural issues, namely 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 the proposal initially submitted in October 2010 that the CBD Secretariat be invited to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD. He said that he had no new developments to report in this regard.
15.   The representatives of India, South Africa, Ecuador, China, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the United States of America, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Indonesia and Chile 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/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1