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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
456.   At the outset, I would like to wish you and all participants to the TRIPS Council a good health in these very hard times. 457.   The overall objective of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) technical cooperation programmes in the field of intellectual property is to contribute to the capacity building of officials from the GCC Members and strengthening their knowledge in many IP technical aspects which are of high importance for the protection of intellectual property rights and support of invention. 458.   In fact, the GCC technical cooperation is based on its mandate derived from Article (20) of the GCC Economic Agreement (2001) which states that "Member States shall develop programmes encouraging talented individuals and supporting innovation and invention; cooperate in the field of intellectual property and develop regulations and procedures ensuring protection of intellectual property rights; and coordinate their relevant policies towards other countries, regional blocs and international and regional organizations". 459.   Although the COVID-19 outbreak affected all the works and programmes of the GCC Secretariat General, technical cooperation activities continued to be undertaken during recent period with the means at hand and limited programmes. 460.   As reflected in the GCC Technical Assistance report for 2020, technical cooperation activities undertaken by the GCC Secretariat General covers the period from 9 September 2019 to 9 September 2020. 461.   Technical assistance activities undertaken by the GCC Secretariat General during the said period have been focused on various IP concrete aspects such as enforcement of IP laws, Intellectual Property Rights policies in the GCC region, patent electronic filling, cooperation in IT Systems and support of innovation and invention, etc. These activities was conducted in the form of workshop, on-job training, secondment or through supporting the participation in Conferences or in international IP exhibitions. 462.   Cooperation with WIPO continues to contribute to the GCC technical assistance efforts in various IP areas. In this regard, it may be worth to mention that the GCC Patent Office, with the collaboration of WIPO, launches, on 5 December 2019, an electronic platform called "WIPO Publish" which allows researchers form the GCC States to access to all patents granted by the GCCPO and related documents. 463.   The GCC Patent Office continues to contribute to building capacity of GCC national Offices in examining and filling patent applications. On job-trainings devoted to this IP area continue to be organized for examiners from IP national Offices. Two secondments extension were undertaken, one year each, for the period December 2019 – December 2020 in Oman and the State of Kuwait respective IP Offices aiming at examining number of patent applications, including applications filed under PCT and sharing knowledge with the examiners of the Oman IP Office. 464.   The GCC technical cooperation and capacity building programmes has included also other IP issues such as enforcement of IP laws and Intellectual Property Rights. On 20 October 2019 in Oman, specialists from the GCC Members participated in an important workshop organized on "GCC and EU policies in the field of IPRs" and during which, the GCC Patent Office submitted a working paper on the IPRs in the GCC region.
64. The Chair recalled that, at its July 2020 meeting, the Council had agreed to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at its next meeting. Thus, developed country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members, which also provided technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on their activities. The Secretariat had issued a reminder. Intergovernmental organizations, observers to the Council and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
65. The Council had received information from: Japan, Switzerland, Australia, United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway. Since the circulation of the revised agenda, the Council had received further information from the European Union. These reports were being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol IP/C/R/TC/[Member]/1 – where "R" stands for "Reports" and "TC" stands for "Technical Cooperation". The following intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) had also submitted updated information: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). Their reports were being circulated in the same document series IP/C/R/TC/[IGO observer]/1. Information on the WTO Secretariat's own technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area could be found in document . She invited Members to introduce their reports.
66. The representatives of the United States of America; the United Kingdom; Japan; Australia; Canada; the European Union; Bangladesh; Switzerland; Brazil; Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; Mali; and South Africa took the floor.
67. The Chair invited the WTO Secretariat to present its report on technical cooperation activities.
68. The representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
69. The Chair invited the representatives of IGO observers to present their reports on technical cooperation activities.
70. The representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); World Health Organization (WHO); and the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) took the floor.
71. The Chair invited Members to comment.
72. The representatives of Sri Lanka; Chad, on behalf of the LDC Group; and India took the floor.
73. The Chair thanked Members and IGO observers for the valuable information. As some information had been recently submitted and was available only in its original language, she would provide Members an opportunity to make further comments, at the next meeting.
74. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/96, IP/C/M/96/Add.1