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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
12   INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST: PROMOTING PUBLIC HEALTH THROUGH COMPETITION LAW AND POLICY
471.   For the purpose of having meaningful discussions under this agenda item, the delegation of Japan would like to suggest other Members to note that it might be better to take a more thorough and cautious approach, taking into account not only the interests of third parties but also those of patent-rights holders. 472.   We all should note that the development of new and innovative medical technologies needs so much cost and takes so much time as well, and therefore Japan believes that there should be an appropriate mechanism to incentivize the development of such technologies not only for the developed country Members but also for the whole world. 473.   Taking the above-mentioned points into account, we believe the IP system is an essential mechanism that should work without undue barriers to promote dynamic competition. In particular, the current IP system plays a significant role to incentivize the development of new and innovative medical technologies for several purposes, such as to overcome incurable diseases and to lower the cost of production of existing medicines. 474.   In this context, this delegation would also like to point out that provisions such as those in Article 31(k) and Article 40 of the TRIPS Agreement, which refer to the relationship between IP and competition policy, rest on an intricate balance. Therefore, Japan believes that we should be cautious, in discussing this agenda item. And, these provisions should not be interpreted too broadly. From this perspective, this delegation has concerns about the document IP/C/W/651. In addition, it is important to note that any measures taken under these provisions should be fully consistent with the TRIPS Agreement, as is stipulated in Article 8 or Article 40.2 of the TRIPS Agreement.
37.   The Chair said that the item "Intellectual Property and the Public Interest: Promoting Public Health Through Competition Law and Policy" had been added to the agenda at the request of the of South Africa. A communication, which included questions to guide the discussion, had been submitted (IP/C/W/651).
38.   The representatives of South Africa, Costa Rica, Brazil, Indonesia, China, Switzerland, the United States of America, Japan and the European Union took the floor.
39.   The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1