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

H.E. Ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren
World Trade Organization
30.   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, reports 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. 31.   Now, let me provide a quick update on the state of play of these two online tools. E-TRIPS Submission System 32.   Let me start with the e-TRIPS Submission System, which 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 on incentives for technology transfer filed by some Members and some international intergovernmental organizations. 33.   The e-TRIPS Submission System, initially launched on 8 March 2019, is now ready for use in each of the three WTO working languages: English, French and Spanish. To date, around 60 WTO Members have requested their log-in credentials to access the System. The great majority of the documents submitted to the TRIPS Council since then have been provided through the e-TRIPS Submission System. 34.   We are grateful to the delegations for sharing their suggestions on how to adjust and refine the e-TRIPS Submission System in order to meet the practical needs of delegations. We thank those Members for their helpful comments, and we will be making improvements to the System in due course. 35.   We would also like to extend our gratitude to those Members who used the e-TRIPS Submission System to provide their 2019 reports on the implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement and their 2019 reports on technical cooperation activities. We appreciate the extent of time and resources Members may devote to the task of preparing these reports, and our aim is to help you optimize the way in which information for these reports is compiled and made available. In that light, feedback on how the System can better accommodate specific scenarios are more than welcome. 36.   The most significant benefit of using the e-TRIPS Submission System to submit these reports is that it enables the possibility in the e-TRIPS Gateway to search by, for example, the programme or project name, the beneficiary Member targeted, time periods, etc. Reports submitted outside of the System are only searchable through a full text search (similar to WTO Documents Online now). This means that individual programmes and projects will not appear in searches for specific beneficiary countries on the e-TRIPS Gateway, if they have been submitted without using the eTRIPS system. It is against this background that we encourage delegations to use the e-TRIPS Submission System to submit these reports. 37.   To maximise the use of the e-TRIPS Submission System in this specific context, we also encourage delegations to bear in mind, as early as possible in the process, the relevant fields and the overall structure of the System. -This will have the effect of facilitating the process of compiling information from different agencies for these reports. The Submission System is especially designed to permit distributed online inputs. For example, different government agencies can provide inputs into the same e-TRIPS draft report, which can then be finalized by the submitting agencies. This means Members would no longer have to compile a document off-line (e.g. in Word) that is then adapted and entered into the system. Rather, the individual contributions can be made directly into the draft report by the different contributing agencies. 38.   As ever, we remain at the service of all Members to provide informal demonstrations and training sessions. From the e-TRIPS Submission System homepage, you can access a Guidebook on how to use the system. In addition, we will produce further training materials in due course, that will illustrate any new features. 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 Gateway 39.   Let me now turn to the broader e-TRIPS Gateway – in other words, the online information portal that allows you to search and extract the full range of TRIPS information managed by the Secretariat. 40.   A beta version of the e-TRIPS Gateway was launched in June this year. The Chair of the TRIPS Council also invited Heads of Delegations for an informal demonstration of the Gateway on 23 September 2019. 41.   TRIPS delegates have been invited to offer any comments, suggestions or general impressions of this early trial version – and we warmly thank those of you who have taken the time to let us know what you think and what we can do to improve the user experience. As always, we continue to welcome your comments. 42.   As an update, we are pleased to inform you that the interface of the e-TRIPS Gateway is now available in all three official WTO languages (French, Spanish, English). The underlying data contained in the e-TRIPS Gateway will be made available in all three official WTO languages in the course of next year. Next steps 43.   Regarding next steps, we will begin making incremental improvements to both the e-TRIPS Submission System and the e-TRIPS Gateway on the basis of your feedback. 44.   We will also turn our focus to the redesign of the TRIPS-related public WTO webpages and their integration with the e-TRIPS Gateway. The Secretariat will provide further updates to the TRIPS Council in the course of next year. As ever, we are very grateful for your invaluable input and look forward to your continued guidance. 45.   In concluding, we invite you to an informal demonstration of the e-TRIPS Gateway in this room, CR, at 2pm. During this informal demonstration of approximately 30 minutes, we will highlight a few e-TRIPS Gateway features you might find most useful. Flyers with additional information on the e-TRIPS Gateway are available at the back of the room. 46.   No statements were made under this agenda item.
1.   The Chair invited the Secretariat to report on notifications that the Council had received since its meeting in June 2019.
2.   A representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. Canada had notified an act that implemented the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the trademark area; new Industrial Design Regulations that facilitated Canada's accession to the Hague Agreement concerning the international Registration of Industrial Designs; and amendments resulting from the College of Patents and Trademark Agents Act, which has an effect on various intellectual property laws;
b. Mexico had notified the General Declaration on Protection of the Appellation of Origin Raicilla;
c. Mauritius had notified amendments to its Copyright Act which made provisions on phonograms; lengthened the period of copyright protection; and introduced provisions regarding the Mauritius Society of Authors;
d. Japan had notified amendments to its Trademark, Patents and Designs Acts aimed at ensuring the confidentiality of documents that contain trade secrets during certification process; as well as a revised Unfair Competition Prevention Act that provides civil remedies against acts of unfair competition with respect to protected data; and
e. Chinese Taipei had notified amendments to its Patent and Copyright Acts.
3.   He added that, under Article 69, Maldives, Indonesia, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan had provided information on contact points for the exchange of information and cooperation on trade in infringing goods. The European Union and Kazakhstan had provided updates to their previous responses to the Checklist of Issues on Enforcement.
4.   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.
5.   The representatives of Mexico; Canada; Chinese Taipei; Japan; Mauritius; and Brazil took the floor.
6.   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.
7.   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. More than 50 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.
8.   The Chair invited the Secretariat to provide an update on the e-TRIPS system.
9.   A representative of the Secretariat briefed Members on the development of e-TRIPS.
10.   The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/93, IP/C/M/93/Add.1