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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
465.   The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) undertakes an extensive range of technical cooperation activities relating to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Our technical assistance to Members covers a wide spectrum of intellectual property (IP) areas, including patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs, and IP enforcement. 466.   There are three main categories of technical assistance that we provide to governments: policy and legislative advice, national IP strategies, and IP office business solutions. 467.   Based on requests from Members, WIPO provides IP policy and legislative advice tailored to the specific needs and level of socio-economic development of the requesting country. In this regard, WIPO assists Members in drafting new law or amending existing law, as well as advise Members on the implementation of flexibilities contained in international treaties. 468.   WIPO also assists developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) to formulate national IP strategies to facilitate the integration of IP into their overall national development and public policy. 469.   In the category of IP office business solutions, WIPO provides business systems to IP institutions in developing countries and LDCs to enable them to participate effectively in the global IP system. WIPO aims to help IP offices deliver better online services relating to filing systems, IP administration, and the digital exchange of data. 470.   WIPO's technical cooperation activities also involve numerous projects managed by various sectors and divisions at WIPO. The WIPO Academy's IP Training Institutions project, for example, assists Members to establish IP training institutions to enable Members to create their own selfsustaining IP training infrastructure focused on specific national goals and priorities. 471.   The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to WIPO's delivery of its capacity-building activities. In response, WIPO has adapted to new ways of delivering technical assistance remotely in virtual formats such as webinars. From January to August 2020, WIPO provided approximately 300 technical assistance activities online. A number of activities specifically addressed the impact of COVID-19 on different areas of IP. Moreover, WIPO has taken several initiatives to facilitate technical cooperation in the context of stimulating innovation to fight the pandemic. These initiatives include the COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker, which provides information on measures adopted by IP offices in response to COVID-19; the inclusion of COVID-19 terminology in WIPO PEARL, a multilingual portal that enhances the sharing of scientific and technical terms derived from patent documents; and the addition of a new COVID-19 related search functionality in the global patent database PATENTSCOPE. 472.   WIPO is fully committed to continuing its legal and technical assistance to support the efforts of Members in fulfilling their TRIPS obligations.
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