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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
16.   Mexico wishes to inform the TRIPS Council that it has notified the WTO of two reforms to its Industrial Property Law and of the General Declaration on Protection of the Yahualica chili, which designates "Yahualica" as a new protected appellation of origin. 17.   Firstly, concerning the reform of the Industrial Property Law with regard to patents, trademarks and geographical indications, which was published in the Official Journal on 13 March 2018 and notified in documents IP/N/1/MEX/16 and IP/N/1/MEX/I/13, my delegation wishes to briefly describe the changes introduced as follows: 18.   The opposition period for patents has been reduced from six to two months. 19.   The period of validity for industrial designs has been changed to a five-year term, renewable for successive five-year periods for a maximum of 25 years, and the expiry of such periods will be regulated in the event of non-renewal. 20.   Patents, utility models and industrial designs will be published in the Industrial Property Gazette, upon approval of the formal examination. The same procedure will be followed for divisional applications. 21.   The reform also includes changes to the regime for the protection of geographical indications and appellations of origin, which I will explain in further detail under agenda item 9 on the review of the application of the provisions on geographical indications under Article 24.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. 22.   Secondly, with regard to the second reform concerning trademarks, which was published in the Official Journal on 18 May 2018 and notified in document IP/N/1/MEX/18 and IP/N/1/MEX/I/14, Mexico carried out the legislative procedure to incorporate certification marks into the Mexican industrial property system and introduced regulations inherent to non-traditional marks, to which we will refer in the relevant session. The purpose of this reform is to ensure a balanced system that is in keeping with Mexico's geographical, historical and trade conditions. 23.   Thirdly, Mexico notified the WTO of the General Declaration on Protection of the Appellation of Origin "Yahualica", which was published in the Official Journal on 16 March 2018 and by the WTO in document IP/N/1/MEX/17 and IP/N/1/MEX/G/7. The Yahualica chili is the 16th Mexican appellation of origin. It is produced in 11 municipalities in the states of Jalisco and Zacatecas, which have developed a cultivation method derived from an artisanal process to obtain the fruit, and which distinguishes it from other chilies produced in other regions. The Yahualica chili is the main ingredient in a number of Jaliscan dishes, and therefore has now become a symbol of identity for the population of the region.
4.   The Chair invited the Secretariat to report on notifications that the Council had received since its meeting in February 2018.
5.   A representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. Mexico had notified two Decrees, which amended and supplemented various provisions of the Industrial Property Law concerning a specific regime for geographical indications, the period of protection of industrial drawings, designs or models, and the opposition periods for patent and trademark applications (circulated in documents IP/N/1/MEX/I/13 and IP/N/1/MEX/I/14). Mexico had also notified its General Declaration on Protection of the Appellation of Origin "Yahualica", which protected the fresh and dried tree chili fruit belonging to species with specific taxonomic classifications (circulated in document IP/N/1/MEX/G/7).

b. The United States had notified updated trade secrets laws for all its states as well as for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (circulated in documents IP/N/1/USA/U/4 to 56).

c. Canada had notified its revised Trademarks Act and Patent Act. These Acts had been amended by Bill C-30 to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its member States and to provide for certain other measures (circulated in documents IP/N/1/CAN/P/13 and IP/N/1/CAN/G/1).

d. The Kyrgyz Republic has submitted 16 notifications, including the notifications of its main dedicated IP laws and regulations, other laws and regulations or their amendments (to be circulated in document series IP/N/1/KGZ/…).

6.   Under Article 69, Ukraine had updated its contact points for the exchange of information and cooperation on trade in infringing goods and Cambodia had notified new information regarding its contact points. The Members' transparency toolkit page had been updated accordingly.
7.   The Chair invited delegations that had notified a new or revised legislative measure, or given responses or updates to the enforcement checklist, to briefly inform the TRIPS Council about the key points in the notifications. This had become a well-established tradition, as many delegations had followed this practice at recent sessions of the Council. It provided valuable insight into the notifications provided and promotes awareness and transparency.
8.   The representatives of Canada, the United States, Mexico and Chile 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 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.   He especially encouraged Members to notify changes made to their laws and/or regulations to implement the special compulsory licensing system to export medicines that was now 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 allows them to use the System as exporters and/or importers. This said, only 19 Members, including the European Union, had formally notified such measures to the TRIPS Council. Completing 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 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.
12.   A representative of the Secretariat briefed Members on the development of e-TRIPS.
13.   The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/89, IP/C/M/89/Add.1