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

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren
World Trade Organization

46.   The Secretariat takes this opportunity to provide a further regular update to the TRIPS Council on the e-TRIPS project. Delegates will recall that e-TRIPS aims at streamlining and updating the information services the Secretariat provides for Members, within the framework established by the TRIPS Agreement itself and the decisions of this Council. It comprises two separated but integrated online tools – first, the e-TRIPS Submission System, which is a means for submitting TRIPS notification and review material; and second, the e-TRIPS Gateway, which provides a wide range of opportunities for delegates to access and make use of TRIPS information. 47.   Now, let me provide a quick update on the state of play of these two online tools.

e-TRIPS Submission System

  1. The e-TRIPS Submission System is an 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. As announced at the last TRIPS Council meeting in February and mentioned in our email of 8 March 2019 to TRIPS Council delegates, the e-TRIPS Submission System is now open and ready for your use.
  2. As delegates will recall, the initial version released in March was only available in English. Since then, the translation in French and Spanish has been completed and the e-TRIPS Submission System is now fully available in the three official WTO languages.
  3. Please note that the e-TRIPS Submission System requires log-in credentials and is for Members' use only. To date, over 35 Members have already requested their log-in credentials. If your delegation would like to use the e-TRIPS Submission System and has not already requested log-in credentials, please contact us at e-TRIPS@wto.org.
  4. Our immediate emphasis is on supporting delegates and capital-based officials to become familiar with this tool and to assist them in its practical use. In this context, and as mentioned in our previous message to TRIPS Council delegates earlier this week, we are holding an informal training session on the e-TRIPS Submission System on the day of the meeting in Room E from 13:45-14:45. We will provide you with access to the testing environment during the session, and therefore we would encourage you to bring your own laptop. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided into French and Spanish.

e-TRIPS Gateway

  1. Let me now turn to 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. In the coming weeks, the Secretariat will release a Beta version of the e-TRIPS Gateway. The so-called Beta version is a trial version for testing by Delegations. We hope that you – and your colleagues – will test and explore the e-TRIPS Gateway and subsequently offer any feedback or suggestions you might have on how the Gateway might be improved.
  2. It is envisioned that, upon completion of the e-TRIPS Gateway, it will be integrated with the WTO website, and be open to the general public as well. We note that the data which is available in the e-TRIPS Gateway is the same as what is currently publicly available on the WTO Docs Online database and other relevant WTO webpages. The e-TRIPS Gateway will simply make it easier for you to quickly research, retrieve and analyse TRIPS-related data.

Next steps

  1. Regarding next steps, we will reach out to you in the coming weeks with instructions on how to access the Beta version of the e-TRIPS Gateway. As ever, we are most grateful for your invaluable input and look forward to your continued guidance.
The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
4.   The Chair invited the Secretariat to report on notifications that the Council had received since its meeting in February 2019.
5.   A representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. Australia had notified amendments to its Copyright Act and Regulations relating to: service provider safe harbour scheme; online infringement scheme allowing blocking of access to online locations; and to the international extension of the protection for secondary uses of sound recordings. It had also notified the Wine Australia Regulations regarding the protection of geographical indications, and the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act and Regulations, which implemented changes across Australia's IP system in response to a Report by the Australian Government's Productivity Commission.
b. Cuba had notified legislation concerning its Industrial Property System; the regulation of industrial design protection; the regulation of plant variety protection; and provisions for the national implementation of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). It had further notified legislation on the remuneration of inventors, authors, and other holders of intellectual property rights. Finally, it had also notified laws relating to unfair practices in industrial property, and to the use of restrictive contractual clauses in industrial property matters.
c. The European Union had notified legislation relating to the protection of geographical indications.
d. Hungary had notified legislation amending its Act on the protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications.
e. Japan had notified a consolidated version of the Patent Act that introduces a new system of patent fees. It had also notified an Act concerning the fees for international patent applications pursuant to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
f. Chinese Taipei had notified amendments to its Patent Attorney Act.
6.   Under Article 69, Angola and Tonga had provided information on contact points for the exchange of information and cooperation on trade in infringing goods. Under Article 67, Chile had provided information on its contact point on technical and financial cooperation. The Members' transparency toolkit page would be updated accordingly. Since the circulation of the agenda, other notifications had been submitted. The relevant delegations might mention them in their interventions, as appropriate.
7.   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 to comment on them.
8.   The representatives of Australia, Japan, Cuba, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Canada and the United States of America took the floor.
9.   The Chair noted that notifications to the Council were not keeping up with the actual development of laws and regulations relating to TRIPS. He emphasized that Article 63.2 was not a one-off requirement. It was a core element of the TRIPS transparency arrangements, a central part of the Council's substantive work, and obliged Members to notify any new or amended laws. He urged Members to complete any outstanding initial notifications and to keep up to date notifications of 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. The e-TRIPS platform made it much easier to fulfil these transparency obligations.
10.   The Chair encouraged Members to notify legislative changes made to implement the special compulsory licensing system to export medicines covered by the new Article 31bis of the TRIPS Agreement. At least 56 WTO Members, including many of the world's major exporters of medicines, had adopted implementing legislation that allowed them to use the System as exporters and/or importers. But only 19 Members, including the European Union, had formally notified such measures to the TRIPS Council. The notification of all relevant laws and regulations could assist Members in preparing for the potential use of the System. It would also help the Secretariat in its efforts to provide informed technical support to Members in this area.
11.   The Chair noted that the Secretariat had completed work on the e-TRIPS System. In March, delegations had been informed that the e-TRIPS Submissions System was available online. Several Members had already used the e-TRIPS system to make submissions for this meeting. He announced that another part of the system, the e-TRIPS Gateway, was ready for presentation to delegations. The Secretariat had already commenced informal demonstrations of its potential to support delegations in your work. He invited the Secretariat to present the TRIPS system.
12.   A representative of the Secretariat briefed Members on the development of e-TRIPS.
13.   The representatives of Mexico and Australia took the floor.
14.   The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/92, IP/C/M/92/Add.1, IP/C/M/92/Corr.1