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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
89.   On the agenda items 4,5 and 6, we align ourselves with the statement delivered by Benin on behalf the LDC group. Our firm position is already known to all. Although there is no change, I would like to reiterate our position for the sake of record. 90.   On agenda item No. 4, that is the Review of the Provisions of Article 27.3 (B), we do not support the patenting of life forms comprising plants and animals. We call for the review of this Article in order to protect developing countries and LDCs from the negative effects of this provision on the key sectors that affect their livelihood such as agriculture, health, food and climate change. This would help ensure inter alia: food security and preserve the integrity of rural and local communities. Patenting of life forms at a multilateral level should be prohibited. 91.   On the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD, we hold that states have the right and duty to protect their traditional knowledge and genetic resources. There is therefore a need to amend the TRIPS Agreement with the view to require patent applicants relating to biological materials to provide information on the source and country of origin of biological resources and traditional knowledge used in the invention. 92.   In addition, the applicants must show evidence of prior informed consent from, and benefit sharing arrangements with, the authorities and or persons under the relevant national regime. This disclosure requirement, which is consistent with the transparency principle established in the multilateral trading system, will help to reduce the number of erroneous patents and biopiracy. We believe that whilst the Traditional Knowledge should receive legal recognition, it's protection could as well contribute significantly to the achievement of development goals.
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