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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
European Union
128.   It is clear that broad and equitable access to existing and new treatments, and ultimately vaccines, will be key to tackle the present public health crisis, including for developing countries that have no production capacities or more limited financial resources. The European Union will provide more comments on this crucial issue under agenda item 14. 129.   The EU notified two IP measures that were taken in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures were also notified by Germany, Hungary, Italy and Greece. 130.   The European Union Intellectual Property Office had extended the deadlines for trademark and design matters. This decision concerned all time limits in each proceeding before the EUIPO that would have expired between 9 March and 30 April 2020. 131.   The European Committee for Standardization and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, in collaboration with their Members, agreed to make freely available certain copyrighted European standards for certain medical devices and personal protective equipment. Germany 132.   An amendment to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Humans granted the German Parliament the competence to determine the existence of an "epidemic situation of national significance". In such a situation, the Federal Ministry for Health (instead of the Cabinet) is authorized to issue orders under the German Patent Act, allowing faster proceedings. Italy 133.   The Italian Patent and Trademark Office has extended the deadlines for administrative proceedings for trademarks, patents, designs and models. Greece 134.   Greece also notified measures related to time limits in IPR administrative procedures. Hungary 135.   Hungary notified its new legislation on compulsory licenses also under the COVID-19 measures. 136.   As the crisis persists, the situation is dynamic and additional notifications can be expected, especially as regards deadlines for administrative proceedings related to intellectual property rights.
The Council took note of the statements made.
15.   The Chair said that the item had been put on the agenda at the request of South Africa, referring to the document "COVID-19: Measures Regarding Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights", which was available from the WTO website and contained a non-exhaustive list of IP-related measures taken in the context of COVID-19. The list compiled by the Secretariat from official sources and verified by the Members concerned. It was updated continuously, and the latest version was always available on the WTO website. She invited South Africa to introduce the item.
16.   The representative of South Africa took the floor to introduce the item.
17.   The representatives of Nigeria; Brazil; China; Chile; India; El Salvador; the Russian Federation; Indonesia; Ecuador; the United States of America; the European Union; Australia; and Switzerland took the floor.
18.   The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/95, IP/C/M/95/Add.1