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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
4; 5; 6 REVIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 27.3(B); RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TRIPS AGREEMENT AND THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY; PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE
74.   Brazil has a well-known position on the importance of promoting the neutral support between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is contained in document TN/C/W/59. 75.   As mentioned by our colleague from India, national initiatives to regulate the relationship between IP and biodiversity are important, but they show their limit when other countries can use genetic resources without respecting the principles enshrined in the CBD. This is why we support an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement to introduce a mandatory requirement of disclosure of the origin of genetic resources in patent applications. Misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge could only be properly addressed with the full disclosure requirement in patent applications. This would allow monitoring and tracing the use of genetic resources, bringing strength and transparency to the international patent system. It is important to emphasize that, in the proposed mechanism to preclude misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, patent offices would be nothing more than a checkpoint to collect and to disseminate information. It would not in any way represent an unnecessary burden to the national systems of IP or to applicants. 76.   As you mentioned, there were great, recent developments at the CBD level, with the entering into force of the Nagoya Protocol. I would also that the UN convention on the law of the sea is discussing a treaty on the on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. More recently, the UN sustainable development goals have given us a clear mandate to safeguard biodiversity and to promote compliance with Nagoya. 77.   Therefore, Members would greatly benefit from an update of the factual notes, as proposed by Ecuador and South Africa. This update does not prejudge positions of delegations, as those documents are restricted to facts, and would be the very least to address Member States' concern with the protection of their genetic resources, in which regard intellectual property has a concrete effect. The relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD is also one of the outstanding implementation issues of the WTO. We urge delegations to show a constructive spirit in order to have a sustainable discussion on a topic that is ever more important. Lastly, we also join our voices to invite you all to the International Conference on TRIPS and CBD, which will be held this week at the Palais des Nations.
16.   The Chair said that, as had already been noted during previous meetings, WTO Members had seen important developments in this area over the last decade. However, they had not shared information on those developments with the TRIPS Council. He believed that such information would enrich discussions. The Council had agreed on an Illustrative List of Questions (IP/C/W/122), which served as the basis for the review of on Article 27.3(b). However, only a minority of Members had provided responses; and there had been no response or updates since 2003. Similar gaps were also apparent with regard to Members' obligations under Article 63.2, as important legislative developments had not been notified to the TRIPS Council. He encouraged delegations to submit or update responses and to notify relevant laws and regulations to the TRIPS Council.
17.   The Chair noted that there were also two long-standing procedural issues which have been discussed for many years:
a. The suggestion made in November 2012 that the Secretariat update the three factual notes on the Council's previous discussions on the TRIPS and CBD and related items; these notes had been initially prepared in 2002 and last updated in 2006; and

b. The request that the CBD Secretariat be invited to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD, initially proposed in October 2010.
18.   The Chair reported that there had been no developments on these procedural issues, during the informal consultation that had taken place the previous week. He invited delegations to share their suggestions on how to make progress.
19.   The representatives of India; Ecuador; South Africa; Brazil; Benin, on behalf of the LDC Group; the United States; Bangladesh; Japan; Switzerland; Australia; the Republic of Korea; Canada; China; and Indonesia took the floor.
20.   The Chair encouraged Members to have further discussions to resolve the outstanding procedural issues, and said that he stood ready to assist in the consultations.
21.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matters at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/89, IP/C/M/89/Add.1